The trial of an Auburn man accused of attempted murder is due to start today — nearly 17 months after Darrell McClain allegedly stabbed his neighbor repeatedly in the wake of a verbal dispute.
McClain, 42, is accused of stabbing his upstairs neighbor in the back, neck and shoulders with an 8-inch-long kitchen knife on Dec. 18, 2010, sending him to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The Auburn Police Department previously said the fight began the day before the alleged assault when McClain's neighbor, David Fordyce, accused McClain of stealing $50 from him. Police said although Fordyce allegedly threatened to hurt McClain with a shotgun, a gun was never brandished.
Officers responded to the verbal dispute at the 112 Park Place apartment complex on Dec. 17 and warned the men to stay away from each other.
But instead, the argument escalated.
When Fordyce asked McClain to stop speaking loudly in the hallway late the next night, police said McClain allegedly charged up the stairs and attacked Fordyce. He was arrested soon after without incident.
McClain pleaded not guilty to second-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and remanded into the custody of the Cayuga County Jail without bail.
In May, Simon Moody, McClain's attorney, said he was considering using a mental disease defense, arguing his defendant had a history of paranoid schizophrenia and alcohol abuse.
The jury for the trial, presided over by Cayuga County Judge Mark Fandrich, was selected on Monday. Chief Assistant District Chris Valdina said opening statements were slated to be presented at 1:30 p.m. today.
If convicted, McClain faces spending up to 25 years in prison.