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Dec 23, 2013 6:37 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Oddone Released Monday On $500,000 Bail

Dec 23, 2013 6:37 PM

A Suffolk County Court judge ordered Anthony Oddone, the upstate man who killed Southampton native Andrew Reister in a 2008 barroom struggle, released on Monday after supporters posted $500,000 in bail in exchange for his freedom while he awaits retrial on charges of first-degree manslaughter.

Mr. Oddone, 32, clutching a stack of folded clothes in his hands, was freed shortly after 4 p.m. from a side door of the Arthur M. Cromarty Court Complex in Riverside, adjacent to the Suffolk County Jail—where Mr. Reister had worked as a corrections officer. Mr. Oddone, dressed in clothes his family had brought him at the courthouse earlier that day, was met first, in private, by the attorneys who defended him at trial and successfully had his initial conviction overturned on appeal, and then by his mother and a large group of friends and supporters.

“I’m just very grateful to be with friends and family and loved ones that supported me through this whole thing,” Mr. Oddone said, outside the courthouse after his release. “Thank you, guys. Thanks, everybody, so much.”

Hours earlier, members of the late Mr. Reister’s family had left the courthouse with grim faces after Judge C. Randall Hinrichs announced that he would allow Mr. Oddone to post bail. Mr. Reister’s widow, Stacey, did not attend the hearing and said in a message that she was “too distraught to comment” on the day’s events.

Mr. Oddone is due to return to court on February 5, though Judge Hinrichs said that date could be pushed up depending on the timing of review by a grand jury and an anticipated indictment on the new manslaughter charges.

Just over five years ago, Judge Hinrichs had denied Mr. Oddone bail on two separate occasions when he faced second-degree murder charges in the death of Mr. Reister, 40, during an altercation at the Publick House. Mr. Oddone is accused of holding Mr. Reister in a headlock until he lost consciousness, and even after. Mr. Reister died three days later, never having regained consciousness.

On Monday, with their client having been acquitted of the murder charge at trial and having served more than five years of his 17-year sentence on a manslaughter conviction, Mr. Oddone’s attorneys argued that he only faced a potential nine years more in prison if convicted at a second trial and was not as substantial a flight risk, and thus should be released on bail.

“When the murder charge was there, he faced the possibility of a life sentence—there is the substantial incentive to flee,” one of Mr. Oddone’s attorneys, Marc Wolinsky, said prior to the bail hearing.

Mr. Wolinsky had represented Mr. Oddone pro bono for the past five years, and argued both appeals to the State Appellate Division, which reduced his initial 22-year sentence to 17 years, and the Court of Appeals, which vacated the conviction and ordered a new trial earlier this month. Mr. Wolinsky and other members of The Bridge, the exclusive Noyac golf club where Mr. Oddone worked as a caddy in the summer, are believed to have paid for the defense and also to have posted the $500,000 cash bail on Monday.

On Monday, Assistant District Attorney Denise Merrifield argued to Judge Hinrichs that Mr. Oddone should still be considered a flight risk, despite his short sentence and the money his supporters were willing to put up for him. She pointed to instances in the past where Mr. Oddone had violated probation on other minor criminal charges related to theft, as well as his attempted escape from the Southampton Publick House by taxi on the night of the fatal fight with Mr. Reister.

“This is someone with a habit of flight and of deceitfulness,” Ms. Merrifield told the judge. “And somebody else is putting up this money, and he’s been shown to be a thief. We know he will flee. We know because he has done it in the past.”

The district attorney’s office insisted that if bail were to be granted, it should be at least $5 million in cash or a $15 million bond. Ms. Merrifield also noted that Mr. Oddone had been ordered held on $500,000 bail by the Southampton Village Justice Court in the immediate aftermath of the fight, before Mr. Reister had died, when he faced only assault charges.

Mr. Oddone’s criminal defense attorney, Sarita Kedia, countered that Mr. Oddone’s defense sees the likelihood of his being acquitted at retrial to be good and that he would not flee. “The evidence in this case is questionable at best,” Ms. Kedia said.

There was a delay of two hours before Judge Hinrichs issued his final order on Monday while investigators determined whether Mr. Oddone had ever held a passport—he hadn’t—the forfeiture of which was a condition of his release.

The crowd of supporters who awaited Mr. Oddone’s hearing and ultimate release included one of the jurors from his 2009 trial, Frances Oka, who and been the final hold-out against a guilty verdict and said before the hearing that she had changed her vote to guilty only because of “something that happened in the jury room” and not because she was thought Mr. Oddone deserved to be convicted. Also in the group was Karen Dzus, who was an alternate juror at the trial.

His mother, Laura Oddone, sobbed when her son climbed out of the SUV that had picked him up at the back of the courthouse and ferried him to where the crowd of his supporters huddled in the rain.

“All I can say is, I’ll be glad to have him home,” she said while waiting for her son’s release.

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Uhhhhh, NO.

No bail. To many well heeled friends. Total flight risk.
By Mr. Z (11805), North Sea on Dec 21, 13 2:02 AM
2 members liked this comment
Let's all pray he isn't friends with Andrew Zaro...
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Dec 21, 13 9:29 AM
2 members liked this comment
RIP Sister Jackie . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Dec 21, 13 10:04 AM
Only if Andy gets to come home for Christmas.
By Draggerman (954), Southampton on Dec 21, 13 8:34 AM
The Bridge Golf Club is continuing to spend a fortune on attorneys trying to free a murderous, loser caddy who was in their employ. Why??? Really. Why?
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Dec 21, 13 2:01 PM
1 member liked this comment
it would seem the lawyers are making a fortune, and those who defend him seem to have money to burn.
By Mr. Z (11805), North Sea on Dec 21, 13 2:34 PM
I can think of a lot more worthwhile things to burn it on than Anthony Oddone!
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Dec 22, 13 2:02 PM
2 members liked this comment
Ego
By Deb B (8), Hampton Bays on Dec 31, 13 10:44 AM
Andrew Reister doesn't get to come home to his family for Christmas. Shouldn't that matter?
By concerned east ender (49), Sag Harbor on Dec 21, 13 3:26 PM
3 members liked this comment
I'd say so~
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Dec 21, 13 4:54 PM
it certainly should. What a travesty.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Dec 21, 13 10:18 PM
ME TOO
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Dec 21, 13 6:00 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By just breath (82), yuck on Dec 21, 13 7:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
*you're
By just breath (82), yuck on Dec 21, 13 7:24 PM
*your
By LI native (127), east moriches on Dec 22, 13 6:29 AM
An aggressive, drunken, foolish attack by the defendant. Pay the price, learn from your mistakes, and shut the hell up, foolish loser. And shame on you, Wolinsky, you silly man.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Dec 22, 13 7:59 PM
This is a travesty of justice. How his lawyers sleep at night is beyond me.
By IceMan (4), water mill on Dec 23, 13 1:33 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By islander6615 (133), hampton bays on Dec 23, 13 1:39 PM
I haven't felt this sick since OJ was allowed to spend Christmas with his kids after killing two people and getting away with it. Hinrichs is as misguided as Ito.
By SHPredatorDept (72), Southampton on Dec 23, 13 1:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
I bet the Reister family would like to have there husband, father, brother and son home for the holidays.....oh wait they can't thanks to Oddone's actions......unreal!
By rjhdad (73), southampton on Dec 23, 13 2:13 PM
Bail at 500k? Less than a membership at the Bridge. That doesn't secure any appearance by oddone. That's pocket change to these guys funding his defense.
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Dec 23, 13 2:15 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By jim (48), hampton bays on Dec 23, 13 2:58 PM
Maybe I'm ignorant (or missing something) but can anyone explain why the Bridge members are willing to spend so much $$$ and time on this guy?

He was a freaking caddy and he did, ya know, murder someone (then tried to flee the scene). I could understand if there was a series of unfortunate circumstances and it was a case of self defense and the guy was being railroaded (or something far more murky than whta happened) but I just can't understand why they are being so loyal to him.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Dec 23, 13 3:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
That's also my question. What is even odder than the employer paying for the original defence fees is the fact that this very high powered NYC legal team is now working for oddone PRO BONO! For free!!! Why?? What is up with that? Perhaps an interested journalist will dig up the REAL motivation for the murderer's employers and legal team putting everything on the line for a murdering loser caddy.
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Dec 23, 13 8:53 PM
I have one word for this entire matter: disgusting. It covers the "justice system," the attorneys, the judge, and the defendant and his behavior. A good man is lost - and a nun - and their killers get to enjoy life and party at their rich employers' troughs. My thoughts and prayers are with Andrew's and Sister Jackie's families.
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Dec 23, 13 4:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
Let me see if I can understand how the legal system worked here. My classmate is dead and this Christmas, his family will have no dad/husband/brother/son. The guy that was found responsible for his death will be at home this Christmas. The judge that screwed the case is home at Christmas and the defense attorney gets to laugh at the microphone and suggest that this is all great timing. Does not seem right to me.
By KevinLuss (356), SH on Dec 23, 13 4:15 PM
I was there that night and saw everything.Funny how they never followed up after questioned me or anything.That shows you something about the STP
By mrkymrk1956 (2), hampton bays on Dec 23, 13 4:32 PM
Now would probably be an excellent time to call them
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Dec 23, 13 4:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
It occurred in Southampton Village, the town PD would not handle the initial call, the village PD would. The Suffolk County Homicide Squad would take over the investigation. Regardless, you should call the Suffolk County DA's office immediately.
By lucky and aware (44), Speonk on Dec 23, 13 5:15 PM
2 members liked this comment
Oh, yes! I'm going to do my part. I refuse to join for $750,000!

You're kidding, right? Who's going to boycott?
By concerned east ender (49), Sag Harbor on Jan 3, 14 11:35 AM
1 member liked this comment
Expecting him to think before posting?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jan 3, 14 12:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
What a shame. God bless the Reister family. This is a temporary block of justice.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Dec 23, 13 8:19 PM
These dirtbags have the nerve to pose for cameras, hell has a special place for him.
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Dec 23, 13 8:53 PM
2 members liked this comment
In the video his attorney, Kedia, says that he (oddone) is, "Not a flight risk because he never fled from anything". Except of course the night he fled the scene and was picked up a mile away from the crime. How do these smiling attorneys sleep at night?
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Dec 23, 13 9:22 PM
3 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By HBresident007 (14), Hampton Bays on Dec 23, 13 11:15 PM
I think the bail was set at 500k because that is what it was originally set when Oddone was arrested. While I agree it should have been much higher or none at all, with the conviction now tossed out, the legal system has to ignore the conviction and set bail as if he is just being charged, which is what was done.

Let's just hope the judge assigned to the next trial will ensure that everything is up to snuff and that the dirtbag Oddone will be found guilty once again as he should be.
By itsamazing (224), Southampton on Dec 24, 13 2:36 PM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By islander6615 (133), hampton bays on Dec 24, 13 8:45 PM
I wonder who is pulling the strings to get his rich friends to shell out money for his bail and to get that legal team on the case after he, you know, committed murder by forcing Andrew Reister's family into a nightmarish position. I'm extremely skeptical in regards to the justice system at large as is.

The horrible part is they just might find some technicality to suggest Oddone didn't actually commit murder.
By EastEndEnigma (1), Riverhead on Dec 25, 13 10:55 PM
When this guy goes out and kills another innocent man just doing there job i hope the judge and the two lawyers get charged for murder. Way to release someone that is a total burden on society. Way to go dirtbags!!!
By islander6615 (133), hampton bays on Dec 26, 13 10:41 AM
Agreed. Just a matter of time until this punk acts up again.
By we could run this town! (129), the oceanfront trailer park on Dec 28, 13 10:28 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By TO BAD (24), hampton bay on Dec 28, 13 10:56 AM
What have "We" become?
By Mr. Z (11805), North Sea on Dec 29, 13 11:55 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By islander6615 (133), hampton bays on Dec 30, 13 10:49 AM
Clearly this guy killed the victim. The facts wont change. A new trial will yield the same result. Unfortunately, our justice system sometimes allows criminals to waste time and money with appeals like this. It is part of the price we pay for our Liberty.
By fourthnecker (3), east quogue on Dec 30, 13 6:46 PM
1 member liked this comment