TROY – A Schenectady man was convicted Wednesday in the murder of four people in Troy in 2017 – two of the victims children.
James White, 42, stood trial for nearly five weeks in Rensselaer County Court in the Dec. 21, 2017, slayings.
His former co-defendant, Justin Mann, 28, also of Schenectady, pleaded guilty earlier to four counts of second-degree murder and is to receive 25 years to life on each count.
White now faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Killed were Brandi Mells, 22, Shanta Myers, 36, and Myers’ two children – Jeremiah Myers, 11, and Shanise Myers, 5.
White and Mann killed them in their Lansingburgh home. The victims weren’t discovered until five days later, Dec. 26, 2017. Police then arrested White and Mann three days after that.
White and Mann were accused of killing the four during a robbery, taking an XBox game system and a flat-screen television.
Prosecutors presented 27 witnesses, including Mann. They also presented more than 600 exhibits.
“The deaths of these two adults and two children are an unspeakable act of violence,” District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly said in a statement. “As proven at trial, White, along with his accomplice Justin Mann, murdered four people in a heinous act of violence. After four years, this Rensselaer County jury has rightly held the defendant accountable for these horrific murders.”
Donnelly thanked the Troy Police Department and the New York State Police for continuously investigating and providing assistance, and prosecutors Chief Assistant District Attorney Matt Hauf and Executive Assistant District Attorney Cheryl McDermott.
Troy Mayor Patrick Madden also issued a statement in response to White’s conviction, calling it a “small measure of justice for the victims.”
“We hope this verdict brings closure to the victim’s families who have suffered terribly as a result of this heinous crime,” Madden continued. “I thank the Troy Police Department, New York State Police, Schenectady Police Department and the Capital Region Crime Analysis Center for their tireless efforts to investigate this case, and the Rensselaer County District Attorney’s office for their pursuit of justice on behalf of Shanta Myers, her children Jeremiah and Shanise, and Brandi Mells. Our hearts remain with the Myers and Mells family who have experienced unimaginable pain and loss, and I ask the Troy community to keep them in your thoughts during this difficult period in their lives.”
White is to be sentenced Jan. 5.