Apprehended using security camera footage, Schenectady men Justin C. Mann, 24, and James W. White, 38, were arraigned Saturday in Troy City Court on several charges, including first-degree murder and second-degree murder. Authorities say the murders occurred December 21. The victims were found in the basement of 158 Second Ave. on Tuesday by the apartment caretaker.
Police haven't released details of the killings, but Troy Police Chief John Tedesco said earlier this week that he couldn't describe the "savagery" of the killer. They also would not say how the defendants know each other, but said that both have records and Mann is on parole. Mann is now on parole.
There is no motive yet, according to Tedesco. Troy Police told Post-Star newspartners NewsChannel 13 that court appearances were scheduled for the suspects early Saturday. Preliminary hearings for both will be held January 4th. Both men are being held in county jail. Both men pleaded not guilty. Police announced two persons were being questioned late Friday and just after 2:00 a.m. Saturday announced two arrests.
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The victims - Brandi Mells, 22, Shanta Myers, 36, and Myers' children Shanise, 5, and Jeremiah, 11 - were found dead in a basement apartment on Tuesday in what police called a "horrific" homicide that shook the upstate NY city.
Myers' son, Isaiah Smith, was away when he heard what happened to his mother, brother and sister - and said he feared for his own life.
According to Tedesco, the arrest came about due to a large portion of investigation based on technological devices.
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Law enforcement sources told the Albany times Union that the victims were bound and their throats had been slit.
"After being in this business for nearly 42 years, I can't describe the savagery of this", Tedesco said. He thanked numerous agencies involved and the public for providing tips.
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