Lawyers for 2 men being held in connection with the deaths of 4 people found with their throats slashed in an upstate NY basement apartment say their clients should walk because the DA's office failed to present evidence for an indictment on Thursday.
Justin Mann, 24, and James White, 38, of Schenectady, were charged with 1st-degree and 2nd-degree murder in the deaths of Shanta Myers, 36; her lover, Brandi Mells, 22, and Myers' 2 children, ages 5 and 11.
According to the Washington Post, a preliminary hearing set for Thursday, Jan. 4, was cancelled, which means Mann and White were legally free to go.
But the Rensselaer County District Attorney's office filed an additional felony murder charge against White and held Mann on a parole violation to keep both men in jail.
White was charged with felony murder in the death of 11-year-old Jeremiah Myers in the commission of a burglary in Mells' apartment.
The new felony charge gives the DA six additional days to come up with evidence or both men will go free.
Greg Cholakis, who represents White, says he hasn’t seen “one stitch of evidence” from prosecutors.
"I've never seen a district attorney come in and file a new felony complaint because they couldn't move forward with the hearing," Mann's attorney, Joseph Ahearn, told CBS affiliate 6News.
Ahearn said the DA's trickery suggests the case against his client is weak.
"At this point, if the DA has sufficient, admissible evidence, they would have presented it to the grand jury," Ahearn said, adding that he "has never seen this happen in the 21 years I have been practicing."
The defense accused the DA of trying to buy more time to find evidence against the 2 men.
Prosecutors have not provided a motive for the quadruple slayings.
Investigators previously said Justin Mann was friends with Brandi Mells.