TROY – Eleven jurors were selected Tuesday for the Rensselaer County Court trial of a Schenectady man accused of committing a quadruple homicide in December 2017 in a basement apartment in Troy’s Lansingburgh neighborhood.
James White, 39, is charged with nine counts of first-degree murder and four counts of second-degree murder for his alleged role in fatally stabbing Brandi Mells, 22; Shanta Myers, 36; and Myers’ two children: Jeremiah Myers, 11, and Shanise Myers, 5, in their apartment at 158 Second Ave.
The 11 jurors were picked from an initial jury pool of 170 county residents. More potential jurors waited Tuesday to be quizzed by the prosecution and defense attorneys but were not seated. They will return Wednesday as jury selection continues.
The initial goal was to select a panel of 12 jurors and four alternates. When court reconvenes Wednesday, Judge Debra Young, Chief Assistant District Attorney Matthew Hauf and defense attorney Kurt Haas are expected to discuss adding two additional alternates due to concerns about the coronavirus.
In addition to the 13 murder counts, White also was indicted for burglary, robbery and two counts of criminal possession of stolen property. The top murder count carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.