Suspects in Family's Gruesome Murder Identified

James White and Justin Mann were arrested Saturday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2017 10:09 AM CST
Suspects in Family's Gruesome Murder Identified
Shanta Myers; her children Jeremiah and Shanise; and her partner, Brandi Mells. The four were found murdered in their basement apartment in Troy, New York, on Dec. 26.   (Troy Police Department)

Two men arrested early Saturday in the gruesome murder of a family in Troy, New York, have been identified as 38-year-old James White and 24-year-old Justin Mann, NBC News reports. According to the Albany Times Union, the men appeared in court Saturday on multiple counts of first and second-degree murder, though no motive has yet been given. Both men, who are from nearby Schenectady, pleaded not guilty, WRGB reports. The victims are Shanta Myers, 36; her children, 11-year-old Jeremiah and 5-year-old Shanise; and her partner, Brandi Mells, 22. Myers' 15-year-old son was out of town when they were killed.

Authorities say the victims appear to have been targeted and were killed Dec. 21 in their basement apartment. Their bodies weren't found until the day after Christmas. Earlier this week, Troy Police chief John Tedesco described the murders as "savagery." According to information shared with the Times Union, the victims were tied up—the children in kneeling positions—and appeared to have their throats cut. Police found two knives in the family's apartment; one had blood on it. Police were led to White and Mann by security camera footage. (More murder stories.)

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