A woman accused of stabbing a holidaymaker from Garswood to death during a trip to America is due to appear before a judge this week.
Denise Webster, 61, died from a knife wound to the chest while a guest at her alleged assailant’s home in New York State almost 17 months ago.
The prime suspect, 67-year-old Faye Doomchin, has been in custody ever since, having already entered a not guilty plea to a charge of second degree murder.
Denise had travelled to the US to see an Adam Lambert concert in August 2018 and, during her three-week break in Queen’s, police said she had gone for lunch with her male host to Doomchin’s home in Great Neck, Long Island, where they had a coffee and listened to the man play the piano.
But then events took a violent and tragic turn.
Det Lt Stephen Fitzpatrick, of Nassau County police, later issued a statement which read: “While they were sitting in the living room, they were talking and Doomchin made statements that she did not like the woman from England.
"At around 3.50pm, Doomchin claimed she ‘needed to rid the house of evil.’ She then appeared from the kitchen with a kitchen knife, walked right over to her and stabbed her in the chest.”
Denise was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
“We have nothing to indicate anything that would have sparked this incident,” said Mr Fitzpatrick. “The two women had never met before. They just met that day, had lunch and this incident happened.”
It was later revealed by Denise’s grieving widower Tommy to The Sun that his wife had only months earlier been given the all clear after a five-year cancer battle.
Police said Doomchin lived at the home with her husband and 22-year-old daughter.
CBS New York reported that Doomchin had previously been arrested for stabbing a woman twice in the back in a real estate office in 1999.
She walked free after pleading not guilty by reason of mental defect and was ordered to undergo outpatient psychiatric treatment.
At a court hearing in 2018 after Denise’s death Judge Robert Bogle denied bail to Doomchin, citing the need to get direct input from medical professionals on the degree of her mental illness.
At the arraignment, Assistant District Attorney Jared Rosenblatt said that Doomchin had said she’d made a “terrible mistake,” she “meant to do a good thing,” and that “God should strike me dead”.
The case was first heard at the First District Court in Hempstead, but now proceedings have moved to Nassau County Court - the area’s superior criminal court, where tomorrow Doomchin will again appear before Judge Bogle.
A court spokesman told the St Helens Reporter it was unlikely a trial would begin, but a date may be set for one and other issues, such as applications, to be dealt with.