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Nov 10, 2011 7:35 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Appeals Court Denies New Trial For Oddone But Reduces Sentence

Nov 16, 2011 11:11 AM

A state court last week denied an appeal for a new trial by Anthony Oddone, the golf caddy who was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for the 2008 killing of a bouncer at a Southampton Village tavern—but the court also ordered that his prison sentence be reduced by five years.

A four-judge panel of the State Appellate Division issued a decision last Wednesday, November 9, that called the 22-year sentence he’d been given “excessive” and reduced it to 17 years, with five years of post-release probation.

The judges said in the decision that the reduction of the sentence was “a matter of discretion in the interest of justice” but gave no further explanation of their choice to reduce the sentence.

The judges were adamant, however, in their rejection of the grounds on which Mr. Oddone’s attorneys had insisted that he be given a new trial. They dismissed claims that the jury had not been offered enough evidence to prove that Mr. Oddone, now 28, had done more than just defend himself on August 7, 2008, when he held the bouncer at the Southampton Publick House, off-duty corrections officer Andrew Reister of Hampton Bays, in a choke hold for what the prosecution said was as long as two to three minutes. Mr. Reister, who witnesses said had asked Mr. Oddone to stop dancing on a table just before the struggle started, suffered cardiac arrest from the choke hold, never regained consciousness and died two days later after being declared brain dead and taken off life support. He was 40.

The judges said that they were satisfied the jury heard ample testimony from eyewitnesses of the struggle between the two men, and that the testimony was more than sufficient to have allowed them to reach a conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt. Mr. Oddone’s attorney had argued that the jury had not heard enough evidence to conclude that he was not justifiably defending himself by putting Mr. Reister in the choke hold.

“We … accord great deference to the jury’s opportunity to view the witnesses, hear the testimony and observe demeanor,” the decision reads. “Upon reviewing the record here, we are satisfied that the verdict of guilt was not against the weight of the evidence.”

The judges also said that there were no grounds on which the court should have thrown out the testimony of a county forensic pathologist. At the April arguments before the Appellate Division judges in a Brooklyn courtroom, Mr. Oddone’s attorney, Marc Wolinsky, claimed that the defense had received affidavits from multiple accredited medical examiners, following the conclusion of the trial, stating that testimony the county pathologist had given with regard to how long Mr. Oddone must have held Mr. Reister in the choke hold was not based on good science.

The judges wholly dismissed the bulk of the defense’s other challenges without specific comment, saying they were simply without merit.

Nonetheless, Mr. Wolinsky said last week that the defense team does plan to appeal the conviction to another higher court. Mr. Oddone’s last avenue of appeal is to ask the State Court of Appeals, the highest state court, to hear arguments in the case. After the defense and Suffolk County district attorney’s office submit written briefs summarizing their positions the court has the discretion to simply reject the defense request for the right to present further written and oral arguments.

Mr. Oddone was convicted in December 2009 after a trial that saw testimony from more than 40 witnesses over more than two months. After nine days of deliberations, the jury cleared him of the most serious charge, second-degree murder, but found him guilty of first-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. While Judge C. Randall Hinrichs did not issue the maximum, he said at the sentencing that Mr. Oddone “must be punished, and in the court’s mind he must be punished severely.”

Having already served some 20 months in jail at the time of his sentencing, the original sentence would have meant the earliest Mr. Oddone could get out of prison—he’s serving his sentence at Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Ulster County—with good behavior was April 2027. A determinate sentence requires that a convict serve seven-eighths of the sentence, which means he’ll now be eligible for release in late 2022 at the earliest.

Mr. Reister’s widow, Stacey Reister, sadi this week that she was displeased with the decision to reduce Mr. Oddone’s sentence, but that no sentence in the world would help her family recover from the tragedy of her husband’s death. “It doesn’t really matter what sentence they give the defendant. It will never change what he did with his bare hands for those three minutes in time,” Ms. Reister said in an email on Friday. “The lesser sentence does not change anything for me. My husband is still dead, and my children are still growing up without a father because of the hands of someone else.”

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Let's hope for some jailhouse justice as these Judges have no regard for human life.
By Dr Spock (36), Hampton Bays on Nov 10, 11 8:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
He still got 17 yrs for manslaughter. How is that a judge showing no reagrd for human life?
By tm (174), mtk on Nov 11, 11 8:47 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By meowie, metairie on Apr 11, 12 11:55 PM
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By meowie, metairie on Apr 12, 12 12:02 AM
Using your own hands to choke the lilfe out of a fellow human being should warrent the full sentence. No excuse for that heedless brutatity. After all the convicted was at fault in his actions. He was asked to stop and he refused.
I'm just sorry that no one steped in to try and break the hold. But I wasn't there so I really can't say.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Nov 10, 11 8:21 PM
I was there, along with numerous friends.. About 10 people tried to pull him from Andrew's neck. He was clearly set out on causing harm. Had I seen through the crowd what was going on, I would have gouged his eyes out...
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Nov 11, 11 9:42 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By meowie, metairie on Apr 12, 12 12:04 AM
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By localbigboy (7), southampton on Nov 10, 11 11:16 PM
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By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Nov 10, 11 11:21 PM
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By localbigboy (7), southampton on Nov 10, 11 11:26 PM
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By localbigboy (7), southampton on Nov 11, 11 12:12 AM
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By localbigboy (7), southampton on Nov 11, 11 12:13 AM
I know Andrew Reister was a great respected man in the community and this is torture for his family but a 5-year reduced sentence is atrocious news for Oddone. I must defend my friend from cruel unwarrantable comments aforementioned and make it clear he was unjustifiably convicted of manslaughter.

I know with an enormous amount of certainty Oddone had absolutely no intention of harming anyone and Oddone was not reckless as he was defending himself. This tragedy was an involuntary ...more
By ron sport (14), southampton on Nov 11, 11 3:09 AM
there is nothing you can say or do that will change what this animal did for those three minutes in time....you can't defend it,,, you cant justify it... and you certainly can't condone it...... furthurmore..... there were a number of people, at the same time.... who tried to get this idiot off of Andrew... he chose to not let go and continued to sqeeze so hard that he broke the bones in his neck, while he attacked a defenseless man from behind. Oddone had every intention ot taking Reister out.... ...more
By honeylamb (71), East Quogue on Nov 11, 11 5:45 AM
2 members liked this comment
"This tragedy was an involuntary reaction from being dislodged from a table" - Table defense 101 - Strangle the dislodge-r to death. It's in the book, you're right Ron.. And, since when is it acceptable to kill people when you're intoxicated? I must've missed that law being passed...
Two wrongs don't make a right.. But, I don't see 'An eye for an eye', as an injustice in this case.. Someone should put Oddone in a death grip for 3 minutes, just to see how he fairs...
And, for the record ...more
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Nov 11, 11 9:47 AM
2 members liked this comment
In case you missed this the first time around:

Fact remains, Mr. Oddone CHOSE not only to assault Mr. Reister, he chose to hold him in a headlock for an extended period. Mr. Oddone chose to be disrespectful to a place of business, and it's patrons by dancing on a table. Mr. Oddone chose to serve his own interests, and not the interests of safety, or his fellow patrons, when asked to refrain from doing so MORE than once. This young man is clearly not only selfish, but violent, and has the ...more
By Mr. Z (11845), North Sea on Nov 16, 11 8:33 PM
He chocked someone to death. If he did not intend to harm anyone, why didnt he let go? People were trying to stop him, trying to pull him off. Why did he continue to hold on? Why didnt favorable witnesses have an opportunity to testify? If there were favorable witnesses out there, why didnt the defense have them tesitfy? I see no injustice here. Your friend acted recklessly and as a result of your friends action, Andy lost his life. Justice has been served.
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Nov 21, 13 4:58 PM
TO RON- YOU ARE KIDDING ME RIGHT. YOUR FRIEND CHOKED THE LIFE OUT OF MY FRIEND! THE 22 YRS. WAS NOT NEARLY ENOUGH. BOO HOO HE'S HAVING A HARD TIME, AS WELL HE SHOULD. YOU DONT EXICUTE MMA ANY WHERE THAN IN THE GYM! THATS THE FIRST MISTAKE AND WHAT DO YOU THINK ANDREW'S KIDS AND WIFE ARE GOING THROUGH EVERYDAY? YOU THINK THIER LIVES ARE A PICNIC? WELL, LET ME TELL YOU RON, I CANT BEGIN TO TELL YOU THE PAIN AND HEARTACHE THEY GO THROUGH DAILY! WHEN FREAKAZOID GETS OUT, ON HIS NOW LIGHTENED SENTENCE ...more
By et6678 (12), southampton on Nov 11, 11 3:37 AM
I don't wish harm to Mr Oddone. I only hope that he does very hard time under the hands of Andy's coworkers.

His sentence should have been doubled.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Nov 11, 11 6:11 AM
How could a penalty for choking someone to death be to harsh. I think the judge should reexamine his thinking. It should be no less than the original sentance and when he gets out it should be lifetime probation cleaning the streets on his hands and knees with a toothbrush! It it werent for the Bridgehampton club backing him perhaps justice would have been served properly. This doesnt pass the smell test.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Nov 11, 11 6:29 AM
2 members liked this comment
Take out a timer. Set it to 3 minutes. Tell me after the bell goes off that there wasn't sufficient time for Mr. Oddone to RECONSIDER what he was doing to Mr. Reister. Guilty as charged!
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Nov 11, 11 9:06 AM
Here comes Tony's friends to bend the facts and defend him when he choked a good sober hard working father and husband to death for over 2 minutes as told by multiple witnesses. These falsehoods are being spread at the expense of the feelings of a great mother and 2 innocent children who will never see there father again.

Ron's credibility went out the window with the many frivolous personal lawsuits he has brought but lets debunk his horridly innacurate, insensitive statements anyway. ...more
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Nov 11, 11 9:11 AM
2 members liked this comment
awwww, he's having a tough time in jail.....tough s%&t, just think what his children, wife , brothers , family are going through...Im sure he is being treated in a proper fashion after murdering a fellow corrections officer....he made his bed , not lie in it, stop whining...little b***ch.
Nov 11, 11 9:55 AM appended by BCHBUM11968
now lie in it .....
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Nov 11, 11 9:55 AM
22 year sentence excessive ? How about "excessive" compression of the trachea ? What f@#%king difference does the time make ? The poor victim still dead and this guy made him dead. And no legal manipulation is going to make him undead. Throw the key away and let him enjoy 22 years bending over in the weight room.
By lazymedic (100), southampton on Nov 11, 11 11:10 AM
2 members liked this comment
There are no “bent facts” in my previous post and I was only answering inappropriate comments. I will defend my credibility anytime and anywhere with anybody just give me time and place. Clearly, this board is not the correct venue. Although, if you must attack someone, I rather you attack me than Tony.
Furthermore, I would pray the Reister’s and the Oddone’s do not read any of these statements because they are for the most part a bad reminder for Reister’s; ...more
By ron sport (14), southampton on Nov 11, 11 11:39 AM
Mr Sporten, nobody is attacking your good buddy Tony or you. It was Tony who attacked a good hard working father. Spreading falsehoods about a great family and their father is reprehensible. Please leave this board as I am sure you have another frivolous lawsuit to file.
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Nov 11, 11 1:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
HB 4 Life
I never and admittedly deny ever filing a frivolous lawsuit[s] or being involved in frivolous litigation.
I am a current student, studying law. My professors, friends and acquaintances include several detectives, PI's, lawyers, Supreme Court Justices and DA's who worked the Oddone case. I followed many recent murder trials, worked in law offices, have my own on-going cases and I ask a lot of questions including a few to Justice Hinrichs.
I am sincere and know everyone on the ...more
By ron sport (14), southampton on Nov 12, 11 8:14 AM
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By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Nov 12, 11 12:45 PM
"My professors, friends and acquaintances include several detectives, PI's, lawyers, Supreme Court Justices and DA's who worked the Oddone case. "

Did this sentence have a point?
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Nov 13, 11 10:32 PM
Why doesnt the paper write things that bring the best out of people and not remind the freinds and family of Andrew Reister of what was the most horrible times of their lives. How about you and your team going into the round table in your back office and instead sticking your boogers underneath the table and confer with one another about the direction of which you have written these past articles. How about writing about how Andrew saved so many lives with his organs being donated or how he was ...more
By hamptonfoody (9), southampton on Nov 11, 11 1:13 PM
THEY DO THIS BECAUSE...they are journalists..and they write what people want to hear..sensationalism, gossip, stuff that sells. People have heard all the good stuff about Andrew. The people that matter know it all already. ...The people that read the rags want to hear something new that will fill the void in their boring lives. I don't like hearing it either, but it is what it is. Give it a few days, they will be on to someone else's grief~~ Your favorite Aunt ;)
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Nov 11, 11 2:37 PM
Absolutely shame that the Appellate Division would substitute their judgment for the discretion of the trial judge, who heard the testimony, saw the witnesses, and was able to judge the demeanor of all present. Reduction was completely unjustified.
By ex-pat (49), East Quogue on Nov 11, 11 2:58 PM
2 members liked this comment
MY FAVORITE AUNT IS ALWAYS RIGHT!
By hamptonfoody (9), southampton on Nov 11, 11 3:26 PM
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By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Nov 11, 11 5:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By hamptonfoody (9), southampton on Nov 12, 11 9:11 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By hamptonfoody (9), southampton on Nov 12, 11 9:14 AM
Why was a comment describing a day in the life of the murderer deleted? There was no profanity or objectionable content.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Nov 12, 11 10:43 AM
So truth only somewhat prevails sometimes. Good for you Jim. What was done here is not justice. They didn't hear the testimony, they only read it. As for these attorneys representing Oddone free of charge, I agree with honeylamb. You can bet there's more to this story than these attorney's putting forth this effort for the sake of their caddy. His "real friends" who were with him that night were nowhere to be found to help defend him. And to Anthony's friend who is defending him here, it doesn't ...more
By Truth prevails (17), Long Island on Nov 12, 11 11:16 AM
1 member liked this comment
Remember the video of him in custody? When he was first arrested? When he was handcuffed behind his back and sat on a stool for several hours and didn't wobble, flinch or fall.... not once....He was not drunk. He was not high. He was and still is, a stone cold sober killer... nothing more.
By honeylamb (71), East Quogue on Nov 12, 11 12:19 PM
2 members liked this comment
Truth prevails.
Great post; these are the arguments I like.
In regards to Oddone’s current attorneys, I can only speculate why they took the case but I know they did it upon their own free will, I know they researched the facts of the case prior to getting involved, they are passionate that justice is served and passionate of Oddone’s innocence.
I think you are correct, since the sentence was lowered to 17 years, how much he drank does not matter. Prior to the modification ...more
By ron sport (14), southampton on Nov 12, 11 2:18 PM
This appears to be a game for u Mr Sporten. Like the arguments made in ur many dismissed lawsuits, ur arguments are flimsy with respect to Oddone seeing that multiple witnesses recount him choking Reister in excess of 2 minutes. U should play ur games somewhere else to repect the Reister family and while u are at it u should play ur legal games somewhere else with respect to ur many"on going cases" to respect taxpayers who are burdened with the costs associated with ur games.
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Nov 12, 11 3:36 PM
Personally, I have nothing against you and see valid points from many people on this board but none from you.

I have a trial (lawsuit) on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 in Southampton Justice Court at 5:30 pm. I challenge you to spectate in order to judge my validity and credibility as the information you gathered and reported about me, here, is false.
By ron sport (14), southampton on Nov 13, 11 5:36 AM
Yes, you have answered respectfully and I will as well - and right again, we are never going to agree. Given the case and the circumstances - it is my opinion that there is more feuling the fire of these attorneys than passion for justice. And I'm not alone, believe me. Second, as to the statement that only you and the defense knows how much he drank - if it would have helped him, why wasn't it made known? Did you sit thru court and see the video of Oddone - the HOURS of video? I did - that ...more
By Truth prevails (17), Long Island on Nov 13, 11 5:41 AM
3 members liked this comment
you can say whatever legal babble you want... doesn't change what Oddone did with his bare hands... dead is dead is dead and Andrew's not coming back. case closed.
By honeylamb (71), East Quogue on Nov 13, 11 7:23 AM
1 member liked this comment
Oh great u have another lawsuit being heard. U are often being wronged Mr Sporten, so wronged u continually have to burden the taxpayers with these lawsuits. The day u have a license to practice law is the day Rick Perry is elected president. Please respect the Reister family by leaving this forum and concentrating on ur "on going cases" as u call them.
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Nov 13, 11 8:49 AM
Truth Prevails,
Again post was excellent. The police did not test Oddone for alcohol, in case this case went to trial so the defense could not get an intoxication charge. Again, excellent foreshadowing by our Southampton DA’s and police.
[Penal Law Section 15.25 Effect of intoxication upon liability: “Intoxication is not, as such, a defense to a criminal charge; but in any prosecution for an offense, evidence of intoxication of the defendant may be offered by the ...more
By ron sport (14), southampton on Nov 13, 11 10:57 AM
Your legal ramblings are insensitive and have no basis in logic. Please leave this board.
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Nov 13, 11 12:10 PM
Honestly, I am exhausted from restating and we could go back and forth forever. However, I would urge you to question Mr. Garvey again. I bet he still would call it Murder, but saw he had no chance with all of the jurors. Listen, I'm sure Jeffrey Dahmer could find a few people to say what a great guy they thought he was. I doesn't mean a thing. This is all in the hands of the court now. We could write novels here, all it's doing is keeping the venom flowing. And for the record, Mr. Oddone ...more
By Truth prevails (17), Long Island on Nov 13, 11 7:42 PM
HB 4 Life and others,

I did regretfully erroneously make a mistake. A "17" year sentence means Oddone did intentionally commit manslaughter in the 1st Degree according to the jury, Appellate Term, NY Law and everyone on this discussion board.
I do know there was no intention; but legally, what I know does not matter.
Sorry for that one incorrect fact.
By ron sport (14), southampton on Nov 14, 11 7:19 AM
"I can only speculate that: when it was the defenses turn to call witnesses they believed they won the case, so there was no need." So perhaps Mr. Odone can appeal his case based on incompetent representation. What defense attorney does not call witnesses in defense of their client.
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Nov 21, 13 5:08 PM
Here we go again.

I'm just gonna' re-read my old ones...
By Mr. Z (11845), North Sea on Nov 12, 11 11:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
That's right. The supporters of the VICTIM need to be heard as well.
By Truth prevails (17), Long Island on Nov 12, 11 12:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
this guy displayed "douche" behavior, 3 minutes, should've been life in prison!
By just breath (82), yuck on Nov 12, 11 4:27 PM
no good will ever come of this. the folks that come on here believing the perp's story needs to be heard should have their head examined. not the right place for it. but it doesn't matter anyway, this guy has already become a married man in prison, game over. only one of the parties in this story has a second chance and his deranged pals should take solace in the fact that he'll grow old and see the sunrise again someday. not so for my high school pal.
By HighHatSiMrZPeoplefirst (8), Hampton Bays on Nov 13, 11 6:36 AM
2 members liked this comment
to Truth prevails:

Would you explain what you mean by the following statement:

"Given the case and the circumstances - it is my opinion that there is more feuling the fire of these attorneys than passion for justice. And I'm not alone, believe me."

Is it more than a reference to their being paid well?
By highhatsize (4216), East Quogue on Nov 13, 11 1:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
I just got back to this and have a hard time believing someone anyone would be defending Odone after the trial. After all the evidence and withnesses and sitll someone defends this sicko?
If Odone does get out of jail then what do you think will be his first thing to do?... go back to caddying?
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Nov 13, 11 3:40 PM
2 members liked this comment
Oddone knew full well what he wanted to do and he did it!! An arrogant young punk is the best way to describe this pile of crap! You do the crime then you do the time !! He should have been put to DEATH!!!! an eye for an eye!!!!! May he rot in jail. Too bad it's not for life!!!!!!
By Biba (566), East Hampton on Nov 13, 11 11:31 PM
2 members liked this comment
Fiddle on fellow fiddlers, as your personal anger tramples our precious Constitution into the ground!

Rome continues to burn.
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Nov 14, 11 12:17 PM
Nero...
Tell us, if your relative or dear friend was murdered senselessly by a smart ass punk would you be in support of the murderer's Constitutional rights or would you be "fiddling on with the fellow fiddlers".. Different perspective now, huh?!
Case closed!
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Nov 14, 11 2:29 PM
Thank you for confirming that, in your view, personal anger trumps The Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Please think about the instructions you are giving to everyone, including terrorists and others, who do not support our way of mature, diligent, and enthusiastic law and order. Indeed such scum may seize upon your words to "justify" illegal action in the cause of a "higher good."

Please think through the broader implications of your posts here.

Thank you.
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Nov 14, 11 3:02 PM
Don't put words in my mouth, thank you!

And you think Oddone didn't commit an illegal action?? Forget it, I am not discussing it with you further...you have no idea what pain the family went through. All you want to do is talk big on here... I hope you never have to go through the pain that the Reisters went through.
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Nov 14, 11 5:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
how stupid.... you really need to find something else to do....
By honeylamb (71), East Quogue on Nov 15, 11 5:38 AM
That's funny, as if the Constitution is applied in the US Court System. Puhlease. This country is now ruled by ''man'' not by law.
By HighHatSiMrZPeoplefirst (8), Hampton Bays on Nov 14, 11 5:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
This man took a life.

That requires some "sum of punishment"

I don't like that a couple years got shaved off. But, I respect the fact that I'm not on the parole board. SO...

I'm not the interviewer, BUT, I would say fifteen years is ROCK BOTTOM.
By Mr. Z (11845), North Sea on Nov 15, 11 4:29 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By littleplains (305), olde england on Nov 16, 11 7:24 PM
ROTFLMAO!! THAT was good!
By honeylamb (71), East Quogue on Nov 16, 11 8:23 PM
I'm trying to understand why anyone would think that Mr. Oddone deserves a retrail or that some how he didnt recieve a fair trail. While his actions did not constitute pre-mediated murder, his actions did result in the death of another human being. He needs to pay for that. I feel no pity for him. He made a choice, we all have to live with what comes from the choices we make. My heart is with Andrews family, I know what it is to loose a father, I know what it is to watch your mother grieve, ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Nov 17, 11 4:03 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By meowie, metairie on Apr 11, 12 11:57 PM