Murder Arraignment Brings Surprise of Victim Pulling Out His Own Gun During Heist

Joseph Maxwell “Max” Benner, handcuffed, with Assistant District Attorney Christina Ronan, defense lawyer Ronald J. Ranta and Haverhill District Court Officer Douglas Dow. (WHAV News photograph.)

Yesterday’s arraignment of a Haverhill man on a murder charge reveals he is a boyhood friend of the Delaware man who allegedly pulled the trigger, killing Bradford teen Bryce T. Finn in 2017. Finn’s death began as Joseph Maxwell “Max” Benner’s plot to rob the 18-year-old of his marijuana stash and, in Benner’s own words, the result was “things going badly,” according to a joint State and Haverhill Police prison interview. Twenty-one-year-old Benner knew the Rainbow Drive youth through his younger brother and sold him the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, the report revealed. “Benner didn’t think of Bryce as a friend.

Benner, 20, Charged in Finn Murder, To Remain in Prison Pending Grand Jury Action

Joseph Maxwell “Max” Benner appeared this morning in Haverhill District Court where he was arraigned on a charge of murdering Bradford teen Bryce T. Finn in 2017. (WHAV News photograph.)

Twenty-year-old Joseph Maxwell “Max” Benner, charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of an 18-year-old Bradford teen in 2017, is expected to be indicted on the same charge by a grand jury before spring. Benner, of Haverhill, was arraigned this morning before First Justice Stephen S. Abany in Haverhill District Court. Abany ordered him continued to be held in prison where Benner is still serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence on drug charges. He was charged Friday—the fourth man with Delaware connections to be charged with murder in the death of Bryce T. Finn.

Finn Murder Suspect Benner May Have Had Access to Unlicensed Firearms at Home

Joseph Maxwell “Max” Benner’s grandfather was arrested and charged with improper storage of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. (File photograph)

Joseph Maxwell “Max” Benner, the 21-year-old Haverhill man charged Friday in the shooting death of Bryce Finn, may have had access to a multitude of weapons police say were unlicensed and improperly stored at his home. According to a police report from February 2018, Benner’s West Meadow Road condominium—where he lived with his grandparents and brother—contained hunting rifles, handguns and several types of ammunition—all improperly stored in the home’s detached garage. Benner’s 80-year-old grandfather Raymond J. Maczuma was arrested by Haverhill Police and charged with firearms offenses including possession of an unlicensed weapon and ammunition. He was released on personal recognizance following a Haverhill District Court hearing.

Haverhill Man, 21, Is Fourth Charged With 2017 Finn Murder

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

A 21-year-old Haverhill man has been charged in the 2017 murder of Bradford’s Bryce Finn, Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett and Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro said Friday. Joseph Maxwell Benner is the fourth suspect facing charges in the shooting death of Finn, who was gunned down on his Rainbow Drive doorstep just days after graduating from Haverhill High School. As WHAV previously reported, three Delaware men—Nicholas Mandato, Thomas Warner and Kenneth Pitts—were indicted by an Essex County grand jury for Finn’s murder in October. Mandato and Warner are additionally charged with armed assault with intent to rob Finn.

Grand Jury Indicts Three Delaware Men in Murder of Bradford’s Bryce Finn

Haverhill High grad Bryce Finn was gunned down answering the door to his Bradford home in June 2017. (WHAV News photograph)

The three Delaware men, accused in the shooting death of 18-year-old Bryce T. Finn last year, were indicted Thursday by an Essex County grand jury. Twenty-year-old Nicholas Mandato, 21-year-old Thomas Warner and 19-year-old Kenneth Pitts are charged with murdering the Bradford teen as he stood in the doorway of his Bradford home a year ago last June. Mandato and Warner are additionally charged with armed assault with intent to rob Finn. All three are held without bail.