Two men have been arrested in connection with the brutal slaying of two women and two children in upstate New York.
James White, 38, and Justin Mann, 24, both of Schenectady, New York, were arrested in Dec. 21 quadruple killing in Troy, New York, according to Troy Police Capt. Dan DeWolf.
White and Mann were arraigned in Troy City Court on Saturday morning and remanded to the Rensselaer County jail. They had both been brought in for questioning by the police Friday night. Each of the men was charged with one count of first-degree murder and four counts of second-degree murder, according to DeWolf.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 4.
At a press conference later Saturday, Troy Police Chief John Tedesco said one of the men was acquainted with one of the victims.
The four victims, Shanta Myers, 36; Shanise Myers, 5, and Jeremiah Myers, 11; and Brandi Mells, 22, were found dead the day after Christmas in their basement apartment in Troy, about eight miles outside of Albany, according to police.
Police said Shanta Myers and Mells were in a relationship.
At a press conference Wednesday, Tedesco said the killings weren’t believed to be a random act. He called the murders “an act of savagery” and said the officers involved in the case would not be able to forget the brutal crime scene.
“I don’t need to speak about the horrific events that took place in that apartment, especially dealing with children,” the police chief said.
Police sources told the Albany Times Union that the victims’ hands and ankles were bound and their throats slit. The children were found kneeling with their heads and chests resting on a bed, and one woman was on a mattress on the floor. A fourth victim was discovered face down and covered with a sheet, the Times Union reported.
Myers’ eldest son, a 15-year-old Isaiah Smith, was out of town during the slayings.
The teenager lost his entire family in a single day. And, Reports the Times Union, he was terrified the killers would target him, too.
“I’m scared to go to the corner store,” Smith said. “I’m not sure if they’re coming for me next.”
The Myers family moved in with Mells following an eviction earlier this year. But because of the basement pad’s size, Isaiah crashed with a relative.