Tag Archive | "Suffolk County District Attorneys Office"

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

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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.

Court Grants Order of Protection for Victim of Alleged Rape in East Hampton

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Ex-Goldman Sachs banker Jason Lee is accused of raping an Irish student at his rental home in East Hampton last August. Photo courtesy Suffolk County District Attorney's office.

Ex-Goldman Sachs banker Jason Lee is accused of raping an Irish student at his rental home in East Hampton last August. Photo courtesy Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

By Tessa Raebeck

A Suffolk County court on Friday granted an order of protection for a woman living in Ireland who was allegedly raped in East Hampton last summer.

Suffolk County Criminal Court Justice Barbara Kahn granted the application, filed by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, for a one-year order of protection against the defendant in the case, Jason Lee, 37, an employee of the Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs.

Mr. Lee is accused of raping a 20-year-old Irish student last summer in his East Hampton rental home. He was charged with rape in the first degree in August and pled not guilty in September, after posting $100,000 bail.

The order of protection will not allow Mr. Lee or anyone working on his behalf to contact the alleged victim.

“This court order will provide a level of protection for the victim of this crime, now at home in her native Ireland, who feels that [she] has been harassed and intimidated by visitors in the employ of the defendant, Jason Lee,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a press release.

“We are pleased the court included in the order of protection a specific provision not only barring the defendant from any contact with our victim [but also] importantly, to refrain from communication with her through third parties,” he continued. “This victim has told us she felt intimidated by the emissary sent to speak to her by the defendant, and that she feels she is being watched, increasing her fear and causing her great distress.”

East Hampton Town Police arrested Mr. Lee after coming to his rental house for an unrelated matter, being notified of the alleged rape and finding Mr. Lee hiding in his Range Rover.

Oddone Indicted On Murder Two Charges

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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.