Tag Archive | "The Bridge"

Oddone Enters Not Guilty Plea in New Trial for Southampton Killing

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By Stephen J. Kotz

As expected, Anthony Oddone, whose 2009 conviction in the death of a bouncer in a Southampton bar was overturned last year, pleaded not guilty on Thursday, February 6, to a new felony charge of first-degree manslaughter in the case.

State Supreme Court Justice C. Randall Hinrichs, who presided over Mr. Oddone’s appearance in Suffolk County Criminal Court in Riverside, allowed the defendant to remain free on $500,000 cash bail at his arraignment on the new indictment, according to Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.

Mr. Oddone is due back on court on February 19, according to his attorney, Serita Kedia of New York, and is only allowed to remain in New York City or travel to Orange County, where his mother lives, as well as Suffolk County for court appearances.

Mr. Oddone had been serving a 17-year sentence for first-degree manslaughter in the 2008 death of Andrew Reister, 40, when the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, overturned his conviction in December, setting the stage for a new trial.

The case revolved around an altercation at the Southampton Publick House between Mr. Oddone and Mr. Reister, a Suffolk County corrections officer who was moonlighting as a bouncer at the bar.

Mr. Reister lost consciousness after Mr. Oddone put him in a headlock, and later died from a lack of oxygen to his brain. An autopsy found that Mr. Reister’s death was caused when his neck was compressed and pressure put on the carotid artery, reducing the flow of blood to his brain and causing his heart to stop.

The Appeals Court overturned the conviction, also presided over by Justice Hinrichs, after Mr. Oddone’s defense argued that witnesses had provided conflicting accounts of the length of time Mr. Oddone held Mr. Reister in the headlock.

Specifically, the court ruled that defense attorneys should have been allowed to refresh the memory of Meagan Flynn, a waitress at the bar, who testified that the headlock could have lasted a minute or so but who in an earlier statement said it could have lasted for as short as six to 10 seconds.

At his first trial, a jury acquitted Mr. Oddone of second-degree murder, which could have carried a life sentence, but instead found him guilty of manslaughter.

Mr. Oddone, a former caddy at The Bridge golf club in Noyac, has been free on bail since shortly before Christmas.

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.