A Mastic teenager was arraigned on charges of criminal possession of a weapon and assault for his role in a shooting early Friday morning that injured a Greenport man.
Josue Bedell, 17, pleaded not guilty to three felony charges at the Friday afternoon arraignment in Southold Town Justice Court before Judge Eileen Powers.
Mr. Bedell was one of two people arraigned in connection with the shooting. Jalyn Tirel Preston, 19, of Center Moriches was charged with fourth-degree criminal facilitation, a misdemeanor. He also pleaded not guilty. Mr. Preston was driving the 2001 black Toyota sedan in which both men fled the scene of the shooting, according to the criminal complaint.
Assistant district attorney Brad McGill said the defendants had traveled from Mastic to Greenport for a marijuana deal “which did not go well.” Mr. Bedell was reportedly wrestling for control of the handgun when the weapon fired, striking the victim in the abdomen.
An order of protection was issued for Mr. Bedell to stay away from the victim, identified as Tyrus Smiley, 18, of Greenport.
Mr. Smiley is in stable condition following surgery at Stony Brook University Medical Center, Mr. McGill said.
The suspects fled westbound in the Toyota after taking the marijuana from the victim, Mr. McGill said. Police recovered both the marijuana and the weapon from the vehicle. Mr. Bedell was also charged with second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, which is a felony. He was in possession of more than 16 ounces of marijuana, according to the criminal complaint.
Police detained four suspects, police Chief Martin Flatley said earlier Friday. It’s unclear whether the two other suspects will also face charges. Only Mr. Bedell and Mr. Preston were arraigned.
Mr. Smiley was transported to Eastern Long Island Hospital before being airlifted to Stony Brook, according to police reports.
Bail for Mr. Bedell was set at $100,000 cash or $300,000 bond. He is being held at the county jail in Riverside. Bail for Mr. Preston was set at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. A Legal Aid attorney representing Mr. Preston said the family could post only $2,000. The judge accepted that, and released him, warning him to appear at all future court dates, starting Jan. 4.
Peter Smith of Northport, the attorney representing Mr. Bedell, attempted to get the charges against his client dismissed because police had questioned him before an attorney was present. The judge denied that motion.
About 10 of Mr. Bedell’s family members and friends were present in court. If convicted of the top charges, Mr. Bedell could face up to 15 years in prison.
“These are extremely serious allegations,” Judge Powers said.
The shooting occurred just after 1 a.m. Friday at the Lakeside Garden apartments in Greenport Village. Mr. Bedell and Mr. Preston were apprehended within 10 minutes after fleeing in the Toyota.
Greenport School District Superintendent David Gamberg sent a message to parents Friday afternoon saying police had informed them the shooting was not school-related, did not occur on school grounds and in no way jeopardizes school safety. Mr. Smiley is a senior at Greenport High School.
“We have received news from the family that the student is stable, alert and responsive,” Mr. Gamberg wrote. “They expressed their gratitude for our support and respect for their privacy.”
Top photo caption: Josue Bedell of Mastic led in Southold Town Justice Court Friday afternoon. (Credit: Kate Nalepinski)
Editor’s Note: This post was updated to reflect the print version in the Dec. 13 issue.
WITH KATE NALEPINSKI AND JOE WERKMEISTER