Not guilty plea for man accused of stabbing

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Updated: 8/20 6:43 pm

COLONIE, N.Y. – A man entered a not guilty plea Wednesday after he was accused of stabbing woman in Colonie.

James Sayers, 44, pleaded not guilty to felony attempted murder and assault in a gruesome stabbing attack against a woman on August 11.

Colonie Police say the investigation was successful and so quick because of help from witnesses, CDTA cameras, all agencies involved, and Sayers' ankle monitoring device 

Sayers, a level three sex offender, had just served 14 years in jail after being involved in a robbery. However, according to the Department of Corrections, he also served time prior for the rape of a 9-year-old girl. Sayers was released on parole in May.

According to authorities, the man stabbed a 50-year-old woman. Police say the two were on the same bus from Albany and got off on Central Avenue and Route 155. Sayers then allegedly followed her for more than one mile before assaulting her near Wall Street and Watervliet Shaker Road shortly before 6 p.m. That is when Sayers allegedly followed the woman, grabbed her by the neck, drug her into the woods, and stabbed her multiple times in the face, throat, and other parts of her body causing internal injuries. 

"It's amazing that she was able to fight off her attack,” said Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

Police say they found the weapon allegedly used in the attack -- a knife that broke during the assault. They add that there is no evidence to indicate prior provocation or threat between the victim and Sayers. 

Police say Sayers got back on a bus after the attack and later removed the monitoring device from his ankle, alerting authorities. Police say the monitor gave them information showing Sayers was in the locations where the attack happened. 

"Based upon downloading the information then from the agency we were able to piece together exactly his travels during that period of time as well as the length of time it took for him to get to and from,' said Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

Police Chief Steven Heider says the victim is out of the hospital but she is still recovering from her injuries and has lost one eye because of the attack.

Maryanne Gruetzmacher, who works nearby, says she will never walk alone again.

"It's scary because a lot of us girls walk at lunch time all the time and you wouldn't think that would happen,” she said.

Police are still asking that anyone who was in that area of Watervliet Shaker Road and Wall Street on Monday last week and saw anything to give them a call. 

Sayers was remanded to Albany County Jail without bail. The victim was released from Albany Medical Center on August 19. 

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