Troy, New York, police have arrested two men in the murders of a Black lesbian couple and one of the women’s two children before Christmas.
According to the Washington Post, James W. White and Justin C. Mann were charged with multiple counts of murder in the deaths of 36-year-old Shanta Myers; her 11-year-old son, Jeremiah; her 5-year-old daughter, Shanise; and Myers’ partner, 22-year-old Brandi Mells.
During a press conference, Troy police chief James Tedesco said that “it feels good” to have these two in custody.
Currently, police haven’t shared any motive that the two had in slaughtering the family. But one of Myers’ cousins told the Daily Beast that Mells may have been friends with Mann.
“I never seen him before a day in my life, neither of them,” Khalif Coleman said.
“But some of my family members recognize him as Brandi’s friend. He supposedly always hung out with her.”
Troy authorities said that the slaying was “savage.”
“After being in this business for almost 42 years, I can’t describe the savagery of this,” Tedesco told reporters Wednesday.
The Albany Times Union reported that the victims’ hands and ankles were bound and their throats slit. The children were found kneeling with their heads and chests resting on a bed, and one woman was on a mattress on the floor. A fourth victim was discovered face down and covered with a sheet.
Thankfully, her 15-year-old son was out of town and evaded the violence.
The two suspects plead not guilty in court to one count of first-degree murder and four counts of murder in the second degree.