Diane Sydenham, 58, entered the plea in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez on Friday in connection with the August 2012 stabbing that left 81-year-old retired psychology professor James Durkin dead.
[Related article: Albany Woman Enters Not Guilty Plea in Kensington Murder Case]
Judge Terri Mockler's ruling Friday means Sydenham will avoid prison and instead live out the rest of her life in a state mental hospital. Deputy District Attorney Mary Knox said there was "no rational motive" for the killing and that the defendant and Durkin had a "complicated relationship."
Police responded to the victim's home in the 600 block of Coventry Road in Kensington for a welfare check on Aug. 13, 2012 where he was found dead with a knife still sticking out of his chest.
The following day, officers arrested Sydenham at her Albany home in connection with the slaying. She was incarcerated in county jail in Martinez and charged with murder.
- Attorney: Sydenham "Very Emotionally Distraught" as Murder Case Continues
- Prelim Hearing for Albany Murder Suspect Delayed Again
- Preliminary Hearing Delayed for Albany Woman Accused of Murder
- Insanity Plea by Albany Woman in Kensington Murder Case
- Mental Health Issues Raised in Murder Case Against Albany Woman
- Preliminary Hearing Set for Albany Woman on Murder Charge
- Albany Woman Ordered to Stand Trial for Kensington Murder
- Kensington Murder Case Put Over to Next Year
- Albany Woman Charged with Kensington Murder Set to Enter Plea on Thursday
- Albany Woman Arrested in Killing of Kensington Resident
—By Bay City News