Mistrial declared in Troy quadruple homicide case after juror reportedly ‘felt sick’

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Rensselaer County Court Judge Debra Young declared a mistrial in the Troy quadruple homicide case Wednesday morning after jury deliberations kept being postponed due to a sick juror and two others were hesitant to go into the courtroom.

Judge Young decided on a mistrial for the well being of everyone in the court. The District Attorney and Defense Attorney could not confirm if the juror was experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms.

Opening statements were delivered on March 13. Assistant District Attorney, Cheryl McDermott, addressed the jury explaining that on December 21, 2017, James White and Justin Mann took a bus from Schenectady to Troy.

She said they then rode bikes to 158 2nd Avenue in Lansingburgh where they broke in then tied up and stabbed each victim to death one by one. The victims are Brandi Mells, 22, Shanta Myers, 36 and Myer’s two children, Shanise, 5, and Jeremiah “JJ”, 11.

Testimony in the case began on March 13 inside a Rensselaer County courthouse. The first person to take the stand was a doctor who detailed the gruesome cause of death for all four victims.

During testimony, the jurors were seen keeping their distance from one another. Eight sat inside the jury box, and four sat in front of the box with room in between each of them.

Mann, the co-defendant in the case, accepted a plea deal. He agreed to testify against White in exchange for 25 years to life. The defense attorney told the jury that Justin Mann’s word is no good because his story has changed a few times.

Defense Attorney Kurt Haas said a new trial has not yet been scheduled.

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