The Latest: Lawyers upset hearing canceled in 4 deaths case

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Posted: Jan 04, 2018 5:02 PM
The Latest: Lawyers upset hearing canceled in 4 deaths case

TROY, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest on two men accused of killing two women and two children in a basement apartment (all times local):

5 p.m.

Lawyers for two men charged with killing two women and two children in an upstate New York basement apartment say they're disappointed a preliminary hearing has been canceled.

Justin Mann and James White were charged Saturday with first- and second-degree murder in the Dec. 21 slayings of Shanta Myers; her lover, Brandi Mells; and Myers' two young children. They have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors opted not to proceed with a preliminary hearing Thursday, instead using legal maneuvering to keep the defendants in jail while seeking a grand jury indictment. They filed a new first-degree murder charge against White and held Mann on a parole violation.

White's lawyer, Greg Cholakis, says he hasn't seen "one stitch of evidence" from prosecutors.

Mann's lawyer, Joseph Ahearn, says he's never seen a district attorney file a new felony complaint because he wasn't ready to move forward on the original charge.

Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove has declined to comment.

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2:50 p.m.

An additional first-degree murder charge has been filed against one of two men accused of killing two women and two children in an upstate New York basement apartment.

Justin Mann and James White initially were charged Saturday with first- and second-degree murder in the Dec. 21 slayings of Shanta Myers; her lover, Brandi Mells; and Myers' children, ages 5 and 11. They've pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors opted not to proceed Thursday with a preliminary hearing, which meant the defendants had the right to be released from jail without further action. Instead, authorities filed a new first-degree murder charge against White and sent Mann back to jail under a parole hold.

The bodies were found the day after Christmas in Troy, north of Albany.

Police haven't disclosed a motive.