One of Four Men Charged with 2017 Bradford Teen Murder Seeks Release Because of COVID-19

Bryce T. Finn was shot in the chest after answering the door at his Bradford home (pictured) in June 2017. (WHAV News file photograph.)

One of four men charged in connection with the 2017 shooting death of a Bradford teenager is asking for release from prison because of COVID-19 precedents.

Thomas J. Warner, who was charged with murdering 18-year-old Bryce T. Finn in June 2017, appears by video Thursday, May 14, in Salem Superior Court. Warner has been held since July 2018 when he was arrested in Delaware. He was later indicted by an Essex County grand jury on charges of murder and armed assault to rob, but no trial has yet taken place.

Warner’s lawyer, James B. Krasnoo of Andover, petitioned the court April 28 for his release on personal recognizance in light of a state Supreme Judicial Court decision last month. Justices had ruled in the earlier case that “the potential spread of COVID-19 through jails and prisons in the Commonwealth created a situation that is ‘urgent and unprecedented, and that a reduction in the number of people who are held in custody is necessary.’”

The Supreme Judicial Court also provided a list of “excluded offenses,” such as murder, that could not be used to gain release from pre-trial detention. Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office filed its opposition to Warner’s motion May 1. Judge Thomas Drechsler today allowed the conference to review Warner’s status.

Besides Warner, two other Delaware men—Nicholas Mandato and Kenneth Pitts—and a Haverhill man, Joseph Maxwell “Max” Benner, were also charged with the shooting death of Finn, who was gunned down on his Rainbow Drive doorstep just days after graduating from Haverhill High School.

Benner, prosecutors say, is formerly of Delaware. His mother, Erika J. Benner, served as the deputy treasurer for the state of Delaware before resigning amid a scandal in 2013.

The case against Warner is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christina Pujals Ronan.

Comments are closed.