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Man who represented himself convicted of murder of 4 in home

December 9, 2021 GMT

TROY, N.Y. (AP) — A man who represented himself at trial was convicted of murdering four people, including two children, in an apartment in Troy in 2017.

Jurors deliberated for just hours before finding James White, 42, guilty on 16 counts on Wednesday, the Times Union reported.

White and another man, Justin Mann, were both initially charged in the deaths of Brandi Mells, 22, Shanta Myers, 36, and Myers’ two children: Jeremiah, 11, and 5-year-old Shanise.

Prosecutors said the two men stabbed all four in the neck after going to the home to collect $12 allegedly owed to a relative. They also took a television and an Xbox video game system, prosecutors said.

The bodies of the four people were not found until several days later, the newspaper reported.

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Mann pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and appeared as a witness for the prosecution, meaning that White cross-examined him directly in this trial.

White claimed that he waited outside as Mann killed the four people and insisted he was innocent in his closing argument, the newspaper reported.

A juror on the trial, Halbert Copeland, 61, told the newspaper he did not find White’s story believable.

“He was a manipulator and a liar and that was so evident,” Copeland said.

A judge declared a mistrial in a previous trial for White because of the coronavirus pandemic.

White is scheduled to be sentenced by the judge on Jan. 5 and faces the potential of life in prison without the possibility of parole.