San Francisco woman who claimed to stab intruder charged with murder 

The San Francisco woman who claimed that she stabbed an intruder in her home in self defense last weekend has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Athena Wortham, 42, called police about an hour after the alleged home invasion in the 700 block of Kirkwood Avenue, which is in the Hunters Point housing projects.

Responding officers found Anthony Payne, 40, dead outside the woman’s door with a knife wound to his chest early Sunday morning, police said.

Wortham admitted to stabbing Payne, police said. But she claimed the attack was in self-defense. She said she was sleeping when she heard noises.

Payne snuck into her home through an open door, she said. When Payne confronted her, he tried to choke her, she told police.

Wortham said she called police an hour after the break-in because she thought the wounded Payne had fled. She said she was unaware that he was outside her door.

Wortham claimed she had never met Payne. Police have not released any more details about the case, including whether Wortham and Payne knew each other. Investigators apparently found holes in her story and are treating the case as a homicide.

"They have enough probable cause to go with the charges," police spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi said.

Wortham was booked into county jail on the murder charge, Manfredi said.

The San Francisco district attorney’s office was reviewing the case Tuesday. A decision on whether to prosecute Wortham in connection with the killing was expected either late Tuesday or Wednesday, a spokesman said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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