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Felony Hearing Scheduled for White Plains Homicide

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – A Yonkers bus driver accused of fatally shooting Sabrina Durrah, 35, whose body was found last Saturday beside her dehydrated 4-month-old girl, will have a grand jury deliberate Monday on his second-degree murder charge presented at a felony hearing.

Michael Saunders, 49, was silent at his Tuesday arraignment before White Plains City Court Judge Barbara Leak. Attorney David Gove picked up the Liberty Line bus driver’s case, which was previously handled by a legal aid lawyer. His request for a felony hearing was granted and scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday.

Prosecutors informed Saunders he should notify the district attorney’s office if he wanted to testify before a grand jury. The grand jury will determine what, if any, charges he will be indicted for.

Police picked Saunders up from his job on March 26 . Public Safety Commissioner David Chong previously described the killing as a “domestic incident” because police believe Saunders is the father of Durrah’s baby. He has a wife and two kids in Yonkers.

Cathy Hill, a retired bus driver who worked with Saunders for 15 years, attended the arraignment to support a man she described as “polite,” “calm” and “quick to smile.”

“They’re going to really have to convince me he did this,” said Hill, a Florida resident temporarily in New York for back surgery. “He had too much at stake to do that. He’s 49, working, with a family.”

Another coworker, Kevin Plummer, said it was “heartbreaking” to watch Saunders in court.

Officers accused Saunders of gunning down Durrah in her Wellington 3H apartment at 312 Main St. on March 21, 22 or 23. The 4-month-old, Jayme, was alone with the body for at least a day. She was treated for dehydration and released to Durrah’s relatives.

Police said Durrah was shot multiple times in the head and chest.

Rev. Erwin Trollinger, a cousin of Durrah, has said the family has grew closer after a cousin found the slain body on March 21. The White Plains Calvary Baptist Church Minister said “angels were watching” over the child.

“Jayme was the center of her world,” he said.

Neighbors at the Wellington apartment described Durrah as a former home health care aide who doted on her baby.

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