Anthony Oddone, the man police say strangled an off-duty Suffolk County Corrections Officer two weeks ago at a Southampton Village brewery, is now facing two counts of murder in the second degree.
On Wednesday, August 20 Oddone was indicted in Suffolk County Criminal Court on both murder charges and pled not guilty on both counts. He originally faced charges for assault in the first degree, a felony crime that carries a potential maximum sentence of 25 years. Murder in the second degree carries a potential minimum 25, maximum life sentence.
Now that Oddone has formally been indicted, the case represents the first murder in Southampton Village in some 20 years.
On Thursday, August 7 Southampton Village Police said Oddone, 25, of Farmingville got into an altercation with Andrew Reister, 40, of Hampton Bays. After Reister asked Oddone to stop dancing on a table, police said Oddone allegedly held him in a chokehold, even after Reister lost consciousness and despite several patrons trying to stop him.
Reister was reportedly working security at the Southampton Publick House on Bowden Square in Southampton Village when the alleged assault occurred. Charges were upgraded following Reister’s death, although the grand jury indictment was sealed until Wednesday.
According to police, Oddone, who was a caddy at The Bridge golf club in Noyac, fled the scene in a taxicab while patrons of the Southampton brewery tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Reister using CPR while waiting for police to arrive. Police arrested Oddone on North Sea Road shortly after he fled the restaurant and bar.
Reister was transported to Southampton Hospital by Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance members, and was later sent to the Stony Brook University Medical Center. As a result of the assault, police said he suffered severe brain damage.
On Saturday, August 9 at 11:08 a.m. the husband and father of two young children died as a result of his injuries after he was taken off life support.
At that point Oddone had already been arraigned in Southampton Village Justice Court on August 7 for the assault charges and was held on $500,000 bail. After he pled not guilty to murder charges on Wednesday, Judge C. Randall Hinrichs had him remanded without bail to Rikers Island instead of the Riverhead jail where Reister was employed.
According to published reports, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said the unsealed indictment contains two counts of second-degree murder as his office is still trying to determine whether Oddone intentionally murdered Reister or if the death was a result of reckless conduct. Prosecutors will decide which route they plan to take prior to trial.
Reister’s funeral was held last week, drawing large crowds of co-workers, family and friends to St. Rosalie’s Church and Good Ground Cemetery in Hampton Bays last Thursday.
The Suffolk County Corrections Officers Association is raising funds to help support Reister’s wife Stacey and their two young children. Donations may be made to the Suffolk County Corrections Officers Association, Andrew Reister Welfare Fund, 400 West Main Street, Suite 202 Riverhead, N.Y. 11901.Â