Two Suspects Charged in Quadruple Murder in Troy, New York

December 30, 2017 Updated: December 31, 2017

Two individuals were arraigned on Saturday, Dec. 30, in connection with a quadruple homicide in Troy, New York, reports the Times Union.

Justin Mann and James White are charged with first-degree murder in the brutal slaying of a mother, her two children, and a female partner.

The victims were found bound and slashed to death in their Troy apartment on Dec. 26.

Two knives with the victims’ blood were reportedly recovered at the scene and are expected to be entered into evidence.

The accused pleaded not guilty.

Justin Mann is named as the first suspect in the proceedings.

James White is named as the second suspect in the case.

Family members, friends, and reporters were said to be present at the arraignment in City Court, Troy.

One of the accused “appeared to break down,” as he was escorted out of the court room, the Times Union wrote.

Police in Troy announced the arrests at around 2 a.m. Friday, Dec. 29.

Law enforcement sources told the Times Union that the suspects were arrested in Schenectady, New York. Security camera footage was a factor in the suspects’ apprehension, sources said.

The bodies of Shanta Myers, 36, Brandi Mells, 22, and two of Myers’ three children—Shanise Myers, 5, and Jeremiah “JJ” Myers, 11—were discovered in their Troy apartment on Tuesday, Dec. 26.

Epoch Times Photo
(L-R) Jeremiah “JJ” Myers, 11, Shanta Myers, 36, Shanise Myers, 5, Brandi Mells, 22. The victims of the quadruple homicide were found in a Troy apartment on Tuesday, Dec. 26. (Troy Police Department/Background image via MapQuest)

Myers is survived by a 15-year-old son, Isaiah Smith. He told reporters earlier that he feared he could also be targeted.

“I’m scared to go to the corner store,” 15-year-old Isaiah Smith told Times Union reporters on Thursday, Dec. 28. “I’m not sure if they’re coming for me next.”

Police Chief John Tedesco told AP that he has “never seen savagery like this” in 43 years of law enforcement.

“After being in this business for 43 years, I can’t describe the savagery of a person who would do this,” Tedesco told Fox News. “It was the number of people killed, the manner in which they were killed,” Tedesco said. “And the children being involved.”

According to The New York Times, the manager of the property received a call from the victims’ relatives asking to do a welfare check on the family.

The victims’ bodies were found on the day after Christmas.

Tedesco told Fox News that “certain factors were uncovered during the investigation” that may mean the killings were targeted.

Shakera Symes, Shanta Myers’s sister, told Spectrum News that the murders have left her entire family traumatized.

“Give the information to the authorities so that they can help find the person who has destroyed us, emotionally, mentally,” Symes said. “It feels like somebody has ripped us to shreds.”

Symes also said she would raise Myers’s son, Isaiah Smith, in the wake of the horrific murders.

Family members expressed their grief to reporters at Troy’s Boys & Girls Club, Fox reported.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragedy,” reads a statement on a GoFundMe page set up by a representative of the club.

“It will be deeply felt by all his friends at the club and throughout the community.”

The locals in Troy, a city of 50,000 7 miles from the state capital of Albany, were shocked to learn about the murders. Before the murders discovered on Tuesday, there has been only two homicides in Troy all year. The annual average is six murders, Tedesco said, according to The New York Times.

“For someone to do this to two children is horrific,” Mark McGrath, a city council member, told Fox News. “I can’t even explain how people feel up here. We’ve had homicides here in the past, as all communities do, but children—it really, really has affected this community.”

The city’s mayor praised police and reached out on Twitter to comfort residents.

“Troy is a strong, resilient city that always comes together to support our neighbors & friends impacted by tragic incidents like this,” Madden wrote on Twitter. “The thoughts of our entire community remain with the victims’ families during this incredibly difficult time.”

Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

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