Arrest In Connection With Port Jefferson Fatal Shooting: DA

RIVERSIDE, NY — A 19-year-old on the lam for two years has been arrested in connection with a two-year-old fatal shooting investigation in Port Jefferson, Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney’s office said.

Maxwell Masone was arrested April 7 in Brooklyn on a weapon possession charge and that is when officers realized there was an active warrant for his arrest on an indictment for second-degree gang assault: acting in concert, Tierney’s spokeswoman Tania Lopez said.

Masone had evaded arrest for about two years, according to Lopez.

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David Bliss, 25, of Shirley was shot to death on Main Street in Port Jefferson on March 24, 2021.

Masone, 17 years old at the time, is not accused of shooting Bliss, but was a passenger in the car of another defendant, Lopez said.

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He was charged as an adolescent offender, and because he was a minor at the time of the shooting, he is scheduled to have a hearing in the Youth Part of First District Court in Central Islip before Judge Anthony Senft, who will decide if his case will continue on in the adult part or if it will remain in family court, according to Lopez.

Masone was arrested on the warrant by Suffolk police in Brooklyn on May 23, court records show.

His bail was set at $450,000 or $900,000 bond at his arraignment on Tuesday, according to court records.

His attorney, John Halverson of Patchogue, said he is “reviewing the legal case on its strengths and weaknesses.”

“We pleaded not guilty and we plan on vigorously defending these charges,” he said.

Masone remained in custody on Thursday, according to the Suffolk Sheriff’s office.

Patch has reached out to Bliss’ family for comment.

Tierney’s office previously said Bliss was shot in the abdomen once by Joseph Garcia, 25, of Port Jefferson, causing his death “within minutes” on the afternoon of March 24, 2021, Tierney’s office said, adding that the two men did not know each other but they had gotten into an argument while Bliss was walking on Main Street to pick up a pizza.

Multiple video sources captured the shooting “and clearly showed Garcia deliberately” firing a gun at Bliss and then trying to pull the trigger “at least two additional times but the gun apparently jammed,” according to Tierney’s office.

After the shooting, Garcia and “his associates” fled the shooting in a vehicle going to a Setauket home, which was equipped with video surveillance outside and inside, and it showed Garcia arriving with the gun used in the murder about 10 minutes after, Tierney’s office said.

Garcia was sentenced 40 years to life in March 2022.

A third defendant, Ansel Then, was the driver of the car used in the shooting, Lopez said.

Then, who was 19 at the time, pleaded guilty to second-degree gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon, in February 2022, she said.

His sentence disposition was not immediately available.

Masone is due back in court on June 14.

If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

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