Murder charge filed in 2020 Ieasha Merritt homicide in Schenectady; Second man facing weapons counts

Ieasha Merritt, who was shot and killed at Albany and Hamlin streets, July 5, 2020.
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Ieasha Merritt, who was shot and killed at Albany and Hamlin streets, July 5, 2020.

SCHENECTADY – One person has now been arrested on a murder charge and a second man on weapons counts in connection with the unsolved July 2020 murder of 34-year-old city mother Ieasha Merritt, records show.

Charging paperwork in the murder case references as many as four people involved in Merritt’s death.

More arrests are expected, a police spokesman said.

Warren Cusaac, 34, of Euclid Avenue, appeared in Schenectady City Court Monday afternoon on a charge of second-degree murder.

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He was ordered held and is due back in court later.

Warren Cusaac – Credit: Schenectady Police Department

Cusaac is formally accused of driving “three other individuals” to the area of 880 Albany St. “with the intent of shooting an individual across an occupied parking lot: striking (Merritt) in the head,” causing her death, Cusaac’s charging paperwork reads.

Merritt was shot and killed in a parking lot at the corner of Albany and Hamlin streets just before 6:30 a.m. July 5, 2020, authorities have said.

She was not the intended victim, but was caught in the line of fire as three masked gunmen emerged from a vehicle and began shooting across the parking lot. More than 10 people were in the parking lot at the time, police have said.

Court records also indicate a second person has been charged in connection with the shooting, though not with directly causing Merritt’s death.

Xzobiaire T. Green, 19, of Jerome Avenue, was arrested recently and charged with one count each of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm, felonies.

Green is accused of firing a loaded handgun in the area of Albany and Hamlin streets just before 6:30 a.m. July 5, 2020, according to his charging paperwork. His paperwork does not reference Merritt’s death, only the time, date and location.

After the shooting, the shooters fled the scene, as did the others in the lot, police have said. Five cars in all drove around Merritt as they left her alone and critically wounded.

Minutes passed until someone stopped and called for help. Merritt died days later.

News of the arrests comes more than five months after police and Merritt’s family appealed for help from the public in solving the case. At a June press conference, Merritt’s mother Shanta Merritt told of how her daughter was everything to her and Shanta Merritt pleaded for anyone with information to come forward. Ieasha Merritt was the mother to a son.

Police indicated then they had identified the shooter’s vehicle, but asked that anyone with further information on the shooting or who was at a party that occurred prior that morning and the previous evening to contact investigators.

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