(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced Joseph Garcia has been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison for fatally shooting David Bliss of Shirley in broad daylight after the two had a verbal altercation.
“This senseless act of violence was caused by a verbal dispute, which the defendant later joked about as if the life of the victim had no value,” said Tierney. “Certainly, this sentence is no laughing matter and now the defendant has decades to think about what he has done while he faces responsibility for his actions.”
Garcia, 20, was convicted on April 7 of Second Degree Murder, Second Degree Criminal Possession Weapon and Second Degree Criminal Contempt after a jury trial.
The evidence at trial established that on March 24, 2021, Garcia, shot Bliss once in the abdomen at approximately 3:30 p.m. in the village of Port Jefferson which caused the victim’s death within minutes.
Bliss, 25, of Shirley was unknown to Garcia but had gotten into a verbal dispute with him while Bliss was walking on Main Street to pick up a pizza.
There were multiple video sources that captured the shooting and clearly showed Garcia deliberately discharging the firearm at Bliss and then attempting to pull the trigger at least two additional times but the gun apparently jammed.
Immediately after the murder, Garcia and his associates fled the shooting in a vehicle going to a residence located in Setauket. The residence was equipped with video surveillance outside and inside. The video showed Garcia laughing and joking about the shooting.
In the audio on the video, Garcia made admissions to the shooting and had the plans to flee the jurisdiction to avoid being arrested.
Garcia was sentenced today before Judge Timothy P. Mazzei to 25 years to life for Murder plus 15 years for the Criminal Possession of a Weapon charge which totals his sentence to 40 years to life. Joseph Garcia was also sentenced to a concurrent one year on the Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree conviction. He was represented by George Duncan.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Raphael Pearl, Bureau Chief of the Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Tuorto of the Major Crime Bureau.
Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments.
Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.
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