Shanta Myers, 36; her partner Brandi Mells, 22; and two of her three children; Shanise Myers, 5, and Jeremiah “JJ” Myers, 11; were found tied up in their basement apartment with their throats slashed.
The four bodies were discovered the day after Christmas by a property manager asked to check on the family. Authorities say the murders occurred December 21.
Apprehended using security camera footage, Schenectady men Justin C. Mann, 24, and James W. White, 38, were arraigned Saturday in Troy City Court on several charges, including first-degree murder and second-degree murder. Both men pleaded not guilty.
“I don’t need to tell you how good it feels to have these two defendants in custody,” said Troy police chief John Tedesco at a news conference.
Authorities say that one of the defendants knew one of the victims but did not provide a motive for the murders. Both men have criminal records and Mann is on parole.
A GoFundMe campaign has been created to set up a scholarship and provide resources for Isaiah Smith, Myers’ surviving 16-year-old son.