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Convicted sex offender charged with brutal stabbing
ALBANY -- The man accused of stabbing a woman along Watervliet Shaker Road appeared in court Wednesday. Two sealed indictments were unsealed, accusing James Sayers of attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the first degree. His attorney entered a not guilty plea.
Colonie Police said that Sayers attacked a 50-year-old woman last Monday. They said he followed her more than a mile and then pulled her into the woods and stabbed her. Police don't think she knew he was following her.
Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider said the attack was so vicious that the knife broke. He said the victim was released from the hospital Tuesday and is recovering at home.
Police don't think the two knew each other, but do think both had been riding the same bus from Albany right before the attack.
Last Tuesday Colonie Police canvased the area, stopping drivers to ask what they saw. The Police Chief said a few people remembered seeing the victim and one person remembered seeing Sayers.
From there, police said they found evidence in the woods suggesting their suspect was a parolee. At the same time, the Chief said the State Division of Parole was issuing a warrant because Sayers had removed his electronic monitoring device, shortly after the alleged crime. Colonie Police said Sayers is a level three sex offender and was released on parole in May after serving time for robbery.
Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider said that the monitoring device provided a roadmap for where Sayers had been and for how long.
"If you can think about it as electronic breadcrumbs, those breadcrumbs were laid along a trail which made it possible for the investigators to be able to then pursue," said Albany County District Attorney David Soares.
"To think she was innocently walking on the highway to go home in the middle of the day, 5 o'clock traffic, on a beautiful day, and to think this could happen anywhere in the country is disturbing," said Chief Heider.
The Chief said that if she didn't fight back, if she didn't make noise to catch a neighbors attention, she may not have survived.
"There are certain times police will tell victims they have to fight and when you are being repeatedly stabbed," said Chief Heider, "that's a time to fight back. Because of her fighting back, she's here."
"There's only one person here who is responsible for the fact that she is alive today and that's her, and her struggle, her ability to fend off the attacker in this case," said DA Soares.