Testimony begins for 2nd time in Troy quadruple homicide

Rensselaer County

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Jurors heard opening statements in the 2017 Troy quadruple homicide case Tuesday. The case was already heard in court once but was declared a mistrial in 2020, partially due to the pandemic.

Assistant District Attorney Cheryl McDermott told the jury that the defendant, James White, brutally murdered 5-year-old Shanise Myers, 11-year-old Jeremiah Myers, 36-year-old Shanta Myers—mother to both children—and 22-year-old Brandi Mells over a television and video games.

“Brandy Mells, Shanta Myers, Shanise Myers, Jeremiah Myers,” McDermott said to the jury, “killed at the hands of that defendant. Bound, gagged, and stabbed.”

White, representing himself, told the jury in his opening statement that while the prosecution may have video footage of him and codefendant Justin Mann en route to and from the Troy apartment, they do not have video of him inside the apartment stabbing the victims. “They can prove that a crime was committed, but they cannot prove that I committed a crime,” he said.

Troy police were called to 158 2nd Avenue in Lansingburgh in December 2017 after the property manager called 911 to report finding four people unresponsive in the basement apartment. That property manager was the first witness to take the stand Tuesday.

Mann and White were each facing nine counts of first-degree murder, four counts of second-degree murder, one count of burglary, one count of robbery, and two counts of criminal possession of stolen property. Mann pleaded guilty and testified against White in the first trial.

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