Opening arguments heard at White murder trial

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The jury in the murder trial of James White heard opening arguments Tuesday morning in Rensselaer County Court.

It was a case that shocked a Lansingburgh neighborhood in 2017. White is accused of stabbing two women and two children to death.

White has been waiting for this trial since a mistrial was declared in 2020.

It took three days to seat the jury of 12 with alternates.

Prosecutor Cheryl McDermott started her opening statement by detailing the injuries the four victims suffered.

"You will learn the defendant and Justin Mann tied all of the individuals up," she said.

Mann, the other defendant in the case, pleaded guilty to four counts of murder in 2019.

White is representing himself in the trial.

"To me, there is no life without freedom. To me, this is a fight for survival. So maybe understand, since this is a fight for survival, that’s exactly what I’ve come here to do. Because they accused me, I’ve answered not guilty," White said.

The court went into recess after the opening statements. Testimony will continue this afternoon.