2 men charged in deaths of women, children found in home

Justin Mann enters the court room for his arraignment on murder charges, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, in Troy, N.Y. He is one of two men arrested in connection with the deaths of two women and two children in their upstate New York apartment. The victims were found Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017 in the basement apartment of their Troy, N.Y. home. (Steve Hughes/The Albany Times Union via AP)

James White, left, enters the court room for arraignment on murder charges, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, in Troy, N.Y. He is one of two men arrested in connection with the deaths of two women and two children in their upstate New York apartment. The victims were found Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017 in the basement apartment of their Troy, N.Y. home. (Steve Hughes/The Albany Times Union via AP)

Justin C. Mann is seen in an undated photo provided by the Troy Police Department. Mann and James White have been arrested on murder charges in the deaths of two women and two children in their Troy apartment on Dec. 26, 2017. Mann and James White pleaded not guilty to murder charges Saturday in Troy. Both are from Schenectady. (Troy Police Department via AP)

James W. White is seen in an undated photo provided by the Troy Police Department. White and Justin Mann have been arrested on murder charges in the deaths of two women and two children in their Troy apartment on Dec. 26, 2017. Mann and James White pleaded not guilty to murder charges Saturday in Troy. Both are from Schenectady. (Troy Police Department via AP)

FILE - In a Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017 file photo, Troy police investigate multiple deaths at 158 Second Ave., in Troy, N.Y. Officials announced early Saturday, Dec. 30 that two people have been arrested in the quadruple homicide that took the lives of two women and two children in their Troy, N.Y. apartment. (Lori Van Buren/The Albany Times Union via AP)

TROY, N.Y. (AP) — Two men were arrested Saturday on murder charges in the deaths of two women and two children who were found dead in their upstate New York apartment.

Justin Mann and James White were arrested in their hometown, Schenectady, and pleaded not guilty in Troy City Court.

According to the Times Union , Troy Police Chief John Tedesco said one of the defendants knew one of the victims. He declined to elaborate.

Information given in court said the killings took place at about 9 p.m., Dec. 21. It wasn’t until Tuesday, five days later, that a property manager found 36-year-old Shanta Myers; her children, 11-year-old Jeremiah Myers and 5-year-old Shanise Myers; and 22-year-old Brandi Mells in a basement apartment along the Hudson River, just north of Albany. Police say Myers and Mells were in a relationship.

Tedesco and District Attorney Joel Abelove, who appeared at a press conference, declined to answer questions about a possible motive and the method of the killings.

They also would not say how the defendants know each other, but said that both have records and Mann is on parole.

More than two dozen people were in court Saturday, some wearing Troy Boys & Girls club sweatshirts.

Mann appeared to break down as he was led out of court. A man and a woman in the courtroom became visibly distraught.

The suspects were sent to the Rensselaer County Jail to await their next court appearance, on Thursday. Neither man said anything as the charges were read.

Tedesco said no more arrests are expected.

“I don’t have to tell you what a good feeling it is to have these two in custody,” he said. “It’s a great relief.”

“The rapid apprehension and arrest of two suspects in connection with this tragic crime is welcome news for our community and the victims’ families impacted by this senseless tragedy,” Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, a Democrat, said in a statement.

“My heart remains with both the Myers and Mells families,” said Madden, who expressed hope that “with the support of the Troy community, they can begin to heal.”

ADVERTISEMENT