An attorney representing convicted killer Anthony Oddone appealed his 2009 manslaughter conviction to New York’s highest court last week, claiming that jury bias and scientifically flawed testimony tainted the decisions of the 12 men and women who convicted him.
The attorney, Marc Wolinsky, a member at The Bridge golf course in Noyac where Mr. Oddone caddied, presented the appeal to the State Court of Appeals in Albany last Thursday, November 14. The Suffolk County district attorney’s office defended the guilty verdict, the evidence presented during the two-month trial and the soundness of the jury’s decision-making.
Mr. Oddone, now 31, was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for the choking death of 40-year-old Andrew Reister, an off-duty correction officer from Hampton Bays who was working as a bouncer at the Southampton Publick House at the time of the incident in August 2008. The two clashed when Mr. Riester told Mr. Oddone to stop dancing on a table, and the younger man jumped on his back, putting him in a choke hold.
The case Mr. Wolinsky made to the Court of Appeals focused on many of the same issues he pitched to the State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division in 2011. That court rejected his requests for a new trial on legal grounds but reduced the 22-year sentence Mr. Oddone was given by Judge C. Randall Hinrichs in 2010 to 17 years.
The Court of Appeals considers only questions of law. It could order that a new trial be held or ask for more information. A ruling is expected by the end of the year.