Finn Court Docs Under Wraps to Prevent ‘Destruction of Evidence,’ Says DA

Meagan Finn, the mother of murdered Bradford teen Bryce Finn, was escorted out of Haverhill District Court after the arraignment of Nicholas Mandato. (WHAV News photograph)

Police reports and court records pertaining to the 2017 murder of Bradford’s Bryce Finn are under lock and key for fear of destruction of evidence, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.

Nicholas Mandato (Booking photograph courtesy of the Sussex Correctional Institution)

As WHAV previously reported, 20-year-old Nicholas Mandato was ordered held without bail on a murder charge following his arrest by Delaware State Police. Two other men from Delaware, 21-year-old Thomas Warner and 18-year-old Kenneth Pitts were taken into custody separately.

Now, WHAV can reveal that a warrant for Mandato’s arrest was issued on June 27, the same day that Assistant District Attorney Christina Ronan petitioned the state to seal all related documents—including a State Police affidavit filed to accompany Mandato’s arrest warrant.

According to Ronan’s District Court motion, the sworn affidavit from Trooper Matthew Murphy could hinder the ongoing investigation if made public.

“Disclosure of the matters in the affidavit will likely compromise the investigation by triggering flight of co-conspirators and the destruction or secretion of critical evidence,” wrote Ronan. “It may further impair law enforcement officials’ ability to assess the veracity of any tips they might receive.”

Ronan also argued the material could hamper jury selection.

The new case developments come 13 months after 18-year-old Finn was gunned down by a lone shooter on his Rainbow Drive doorstep. Four days after Finn’s June 6 death, WHAV exclusively reported that his family’s home was broken into, adding a layer of mystery to the then unsolved crime.

District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett’s office and Haverhill Police have so far declined to speculate on a motive for the killing, other than to say that “investigators do not believe this was a random act.”

The case continues next month with a late August probable cause hearing for Mandato. Awaiting extradition to Massachusetts, Warner and Pitts remain behind bars at the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown, Del.

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