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White convicted of murder in 2017 Lansingburgh killings

James White walks into a courtroom in Troy in December 2017.
Jim Levulis
James White seen here in Dec. 2017.

A jury has convicted James White of murder in the gruesome killings of two women and two children in Lansingburgh in December 2017. The 42-year-old faces life in prison at his sentencing Jan. 5.

White defended himself against the charges that he entered the Second Avenue home and killed Brandi Mells and Shanta Myers, as well as Myers’ two children, five-year-old Shanise and 11-year-old Jeremiah. Law enforcement say the victims were tied up and their throats cut. White’s former co-defendant Justin Mann pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for a sentence of 25 years to life.

“The deaths of these two adults and two children are an unspeakable act of violence,” said Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly 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. I’d like to thank the members of that jury for their careful attention throughout the lengthy trial in this difficult case. I’d like to thank the Troy Police Department and the New York State Police who have continuously investigated and provided assistance since the victims were first discovered on December 26, 2017. Finally, I would also like to thank prosecutors, Chief Assistant District Attorney Matt Hauf and Executive Assistant District Attorney Cheryl McDermott who have worked tirelessly to obtain a measure of justice for the family in this devastating case.”

“Today’s conviction is small measure of justice for the victims of this unimaginable tragedy nearly four years ago," Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said in a statement. "We hope this verdict brings closure to the victim’s families who have suffered terribly as a result of this heinous crime. 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.”

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org