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Troy Quadruple Homicide Suspects In Court: Legal Clock Reset

Troy City Court

The suspects in last month’s quadruple homicide in Troy were back in court today. 

New developments in the murder case came with the expiration of the six-day limit that ensures defendants' right to a hearing on charges.

Two defendants were arrested last week. Each man was charged with a single count of first-degree murder and four counts of second-degree murder.   Thursday, the defendants were released from those charges, a day after a Rensselaer County grand jury heard testimony about the killings.

A new charge against 38-year-old James White accuses him of committing a murder while committing another felony. White's attorney Greg Cholakis: "The district attorney's office had not yet moved forward and obtained an indictment. They did not care to go forward with a preliminary hearing. So somebody filed an additional charge. The police filed an additional charge. Same criminal transaction, same allegation, different sub-section, different theory, and it is their belief that that got him an extra six days for a preliminary hearing, which means another six days to put their case into the grand jury, and the judge agreed."

Although released on his own recognizance, a parole issue will keep White's alleged accomplice, 24-year-old Justin Mann, behind bars as well.

Mann's attorney Joseph Ahearn brands it "a legal manuever" by District Attorney Joel Abelove, who Ahearn says wasn't prepared to move forward with Thursday’s scheduled hearing... "...and subvert the process in some ways. Filed a new felony complaint which constrained the court to arraign him and remand him and set the clock running again for 144 hours."

Abelove did not speak with reporters Thursday, and no courtroom recording was allowed.

Mann and White, both from Schenectady, were arrested Friday night and arraigned Saturday morning. Authorities say they killed two children and two adults in Troy’s Lansingburgh neighborhood. The bodies of 5-year-old Shanise Myers, 11-year-old Jeremiah Myers, their 36-year-old mother Shanta Myers and her partner, 22-year-old Brandi Mells, were found the day after Christmas in their home at 158 Second Avenue.

A new hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m. back in Troy City Court.

Meantime, an anonymous donor is paying for funeral services for all four victims.

A public memorial service will be held Saturday  - scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Troy Middle School, where one of the four, 11-year-old Jeremiah “J.J.” Myers, was a student.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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