Tag Archive | "Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota"

Man Charged in 1990s Murders of Two Women, Suspected in Third Murder of Woman Found in North Sea

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JohnBittrolff

John Bittrolff of Manorville is accused of murdering two women in the 1990s and suspected in a third murder, in which the woman’s body was found in North Sea. Mugshot courtesy Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

By Tessa Raebeck

A carpenter from Manorville who has been charged with the murders of two women in the 1990s is a also suspect in the death of Sandra Castilla, whose body was found in North Sea in Southampton in December 1993.

John Bittrolff, 48, who is married with two children, was arrested Monday, July 21, and charged with two counts of murder in the second degree. He was arraigned in Central Islip and ordered held without bail.

Mr. Bittrolff is accused of murdering Rita Tangredi, 31, of East Patchogue and Colleen McNamee, 20, of Holbrook, who were both strangled and beaten. They were killed in November 1993 and late January 1994, respectively. Both women are believed by authorities to have been prostitutes.

“The cause and manner of death of both of these women are exactly the same,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a press conference Tuesday, July 22. “There are significant evidentiary similarities between these two murders, Tangredi and McNamee, that he is now charged with and the murder of Sandra Castilla, whose body was found in North Sea in the Town of Southampton.”

The body of Ms. Castilla, 28, of Queens, who was strangled, was found in the woods on November 20, 1993 off Old Fish Cove Road.

The possible connection of Mr. Bittrolff to her murder is still under investigation, according to authorities.

According to Mr. Spota’s spokesman, Robert Clifford, Ms. Castilla “was not a prostitute but led a similar lifestyle.”

Mr. Bittrolff was charged after his brother Timothy submitted his own DNA evidence to the state police database. The DNA was matched to samples found at the crime scenes and police confirmed that John Bittrolff is the killer of both Ms. Tangredi and Ms. McNamee, Mr. Spota said.

“I just feel really relieved, finally,” Ms. Tangredi’s son, Anthony Tangredi, told reporters at the press conference.

Authorities do not believe Mr. Bittrolff to be the serial killer known as the Long Island Serial Killer or the Gilgo Killer who is believed to have murdered 10 to 14 sex workers over a period of 20 years, with the most recent discoveries of remains found in the spring of 2011. That killer dumped his victim’s bodies along Ocean Parkway, near Gilgo Beach and Oak Beach in Suffolk County and Jones Beach State Park in Nassau County.

“The evidence recovered from the bodies of Tangredi and McNamee, the manner in which their bodies were found and the crime scenes are unique to them and very and distinctly different from the Gilgo crime scenes,” Mr. Spota said.

Oddone Avoids More Prison Time in Plea Deal

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By Stephen J. Kotz

Anthony Oddone will not be going back to prison. In a plea deal arranged by his attorney and prosecutors from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, Mr. Oddone pleaded guilty on Thursday to a single charge of manslaughter in the first degree for the 2008 death of a bouncer at the Southampton Publick House.

As part of the deal, which averted a second trial in the case, Mr. Oddone was sentenced to five years of probation and time served for his 2010 conviction in the death of Andrew Reister after a 2008 altercation at the popular microbrewery and restaurant.

In a press release issued after the settlement, District Attorney Thomas Spota said although his “office was confident of earning another conviction, the victim’s family wanted to be spared the trauma of a second jury trial and their wishes were the primary factor in the decision to accept Mr. Oddone’s guilty plea.”

Asked on Monday to elaborate on the family’s feelings on the matter, Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Mr. Spota, responded in an email, “The family was adamant in their position that they did not want to go forward with another trial.”

Mr. Oddone’s attorney, Serita Kedia, did not return calls seeking comment.

The plea deal capped a wild turn of events in the case.

Mr. Oddone was found guilty of manslaughter by a Suffolk County Criminal Court jury in 2010 in the death of Mr. Reister, an off-duty Suffolk County corrections officer, who had been working at the Publick House as a bouncer.

Mr. Oddone had put Mr. Reister in a headlock that cut off the flow of oxygen to his brain after Mr. Reister tried to stop him from dancing on a table.

But last December, Mr. Oddone, who had been sentenced to 17 years in prison and had already served a total of five years and four months behind bars, was released when the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, overturned his conviction. The court ruled that Criminal Court Justice Randall Hinrichs had erred when he did not allow Mr. Oddone’s defense to refresh the memory of a witness who had given conflicting testimony about the length of time of Mr. Oddone held Mr., Reister in the headlock.

Mr. Oddone, who has been free on $500,000 cash bail, appeared again before Justice Hinrchs, who is now a state Supreme Court justice, two weeks ago after being indicted a second time. After he entered a not guilty plea at that time, his attorney gave no hint that a plea deal was in the works, saying only that his February 20 appearance would likely be a routine conference among attorneys in the case.

Mr. Oddone, who remains free on bail, will be formally sentenced on March 19.