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Albany man charged in two murder cases

February 27, 2017 06:31 PM

ALBANY -- 23-year-old Shelby Countermine disappeared three years ago.

In May of 2015, a jogger found her body buried in a shallow grave in Coeymans.
 
Police say Countermine had communicated with Edward Mero shortly before she went missing.

Authorities say the shallow grave was near a city of Albany water line. Police say Mero worked for the Albany water department.

Soon after her body was discovered, police searched Mero's home on Maplewood Street in Albany.

"Edward Mero became a person of interest early on in the case. And a suspect later on," said New York State Police Captain Robert Patnaude.  "But it wasn't until very recently that we felt that we had developed enough information to warrant an arrest."

When they looked into Mero's background, his name came up in connection with another, earlier, death.
 
In January 2013, the body of 23-year-old Megan Cunningham was found after a fire at 12 Arcadia Avenue in Albany.

Police say Cunningham and Mero were roommates.

Investigators have been building their cases, and Friday, police picked him up.

He was arraigned Monday in front of Judge Peter Lynch in Albany County Court on two counts of murder and two counts of tampering with physical evidence.

He pleaded not guilty.

"What they did was they clearly opened an investigation where they had two weak cases, put them together and hoped to strengthen them both that way," said Cheryl Coleman, Mero's attorney.

Coleman also voiced concerns about leaks from law enforcement about this case.

"My client's being prejudiced.  I understand there's a press conference.  I'm thinking of getting my press credentials so that I can get some discovery," said Coleman.

She says she's concerned that the two cases have been "lumped together."  She plans to make a motion to separate, right away.
 

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