The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | December 30, 2017 | 4 Comments

Murder suspects Justin Mann (left) and James White (right).

Breaking news from upstate New York:

Two Schenectady men were arraigned on several murder charges Saturday morning following the brutal slayings of two women and two children.
Justin C. Mann and James W. White are each charged with a count of first-degree murder and four counts of second-degree murder, according to police.
Information given in court Saturday said the killings took place at about 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21. The victims were found in the basement of 158 Second Ave. [in Troy, N.Y.] on Tuesday by the apartment caretaker.
Mann, 24, of 627 Hamilton St. and White, 38, of 850 Albany St. pleaded not guilty in Troy City Court as several family members of the victims looked on. Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove was also present. . . .
During a press conference, Troy Police Chief John Tedesco said the two were apprehended without incident at 627 Hamilton St. in Schenectady. He said one of the defendants knew one of the victims but would not elaborate.
He and Abelove would not discuss the motive and declined to answer a number of questions about the case, including the method of the killings, citing the investigation. They would not say how the two suspects know each other, but said that both have records and Mann is on parole.

(Hat-tip: Kirby McCain on Twitter.)

UPDATE: As previously reported here, the victims were Shanta Myers, 36, her girlfriend Brandi Mells, 22, and two of Ms. Myers’ children, Jeremiah, 11, and Shanise, 5. Ms. Myers’ 15-year-old son Isaiah was on a trip to a basketball tournament when his family was killed, and was the lone survivor. The question of motive remains.

Left to right: Shanta Myers, Brandi Mells, Jeremiah Myers, Shanise Myers.

UPDATE II: The Daily Mail reports that the arrests followed a tearful televised plea by a sister of one of the victims:

Before the arrests . . . Shakera Symes, the sister of 36-year-old victim Shanta, appealed to the public. ‘Give the information to the authorities so that they can help find the person who has destroyed us, emotionally, mentally. It feels like somebody has ripped us to shreds,’ she said.
‘My sister was supposed to be with me and her children, all three of them for Christmas. And I got robbed of that,’ she emotionally told reporters.
She said her and the rest of the family are completely and utterly heartbroken. ‘It feels like somebody ripped us to shreds and we only have each other right now and we are grasping and holding on to each other for dear life.’


Both of the men arrested have criminal records, police said, but released no details of what crimes the suspects have previously committed. If their offenses were violent, the question will inevitably be raised, why were these two criminals out on the street, and not in prison?

UPDATE III: The 22-year-old victim reportedly “hung out” with the 24-year-old accused of quadruple murder:

One of Myers’ family members told The Daily Beast that Mells was buddies with Mann, who is now accused of butchering her and her girlfriend’s family.
“I never seen him before a day in my life, neither of them,” Shanta Myers’ nephew Khalif Coleman said. “But some of my family members recognize him as Brandi’s friend. He supposedly always hung out with her.”
Department of Corrections records show Mann was released on parole in June. He was convicted of first-degree robbery in 2014.

So, just three years after being convicted of robbery, Mann was turned loose and, six months later, is now accused of mass murder.