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Dec 1, 2009 12:34 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Oddone jury will consider lesser charges

Dec 1, 2009 12:34 PM

When the jury in the Anthony Oddone murder trial begins its deliberations, possibly as early as this afternoon, the jurors will be instructed to also consider at least two lesser felony charges in addition to the second degree murder charge he already faces.

On Monday afternoon Judge C. Randall Hinrichs granted a motion by Assistant District Attorney Denise Merrifield to include the charge of manslaughter in the first degree.

Mr. Oddone, 26, of Farmingville was charged with murder in the second degree in August 2008 after Southampton native Andrew Reister died following a struggle with Mr. Oddone in a bar where Mr. Reister, an off-duty corrections officer who lived in Hampton Bays, was moonlighting as a bouncer. Second-degree murder carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. But a guilty verdict on the charge would also require that the jury is convinced Mr. Oddone intended to kill Mr. Reister during the altercation.

To find Mr. Oddone guilty of manslaughter in the first degree, the jury would simply have to decide he had intended to cause “serious physical injury” to Mr. Reister when he began choking him and in doing so caused his death. First-degree manslaughter carries a minimum sentence of six years in prison and a maximum of 25, though a jury or the judge can impose a lesser maximum.

Judge Hinrichs also granted a motion by Mr. Oddone’s attorney, Sarita Kedia, to include criminally negligent homicide in the list of charges. Criminally negligent homicide, also a felony, carries a maximum sentence of four years. To meet the requirements to find Mr. Oddone guilty of that charge, the jury would have to determine that Oddone’s actions were criminally negligent and Mr. Reister’s death was an accidental consequence of that behavior.

Judge Hinrichs said he would consider adding to the list of charges manslaughter in the second degree, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years, though attorneys for both sides said they would oppose the inclusion of that charge. Second-degree manslaughter is defined by the New York State penal law as recklessly causing the death of another person.

Ms. Kedia asked that the jury be additionally instructed that there are circumstances in which the use of force is justified and that if Mr. Oddone could not have predicted he would kill Mr. Reister in using that force he should be exonerated.

“The fact that Mr. Reister died is not the issue here,” Ms. Kedia said. “The fact is ... it would not be foreseeable that Mr. Reister would die as a result of the physical force.”

During the now seven-week-long trial, eyewitnesses to the August 7, 2008, struggle said that after Mr. Reister told Mr. Oddone to stop dancing on a table the two men engaged in a struggle during which Mr. Oddone wrapped his right arm around Mr. Reister’s neck and put him in a choke hold.

Witnesses estimated Mr. Oddone held the choke hold for as long as two or three minutes, even after Mr. Reister stopped struggling and fell unconscious, collapsing to the floor with Mr. Oddone still on his back. The medical examiner who conducted an autopsy on Mr. Reister testified that Mr. Reister had suffered cardiac arrest because of the pressure on the artery in his neck and that he only died because of the length of time Mr. Oddone maintained his grip.

Defense doctors testified that Mr. Reister had heart disease and a number of medical conditions and that he suffered the cardiac arrest soon after the struggle began because of his weakened heart.

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"Witnesses estimated Mr. Oddone held the choke hold for as long as two or three minutes, even after Mr. Reister stopped struggling and fell unconscious, collapsing to the floor with Mr. Oddone still on his back. "

I think u would have to be an up the island apologist to consider this anything but MURDER.
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Dec 1, 09 1:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
But as we found out through the trial and were reminded today, 2-3 minutes was actually the length of the WHOLE event (not just the headlock) and that once Mr. Resiter was not fighting back others were still beating the crap out of Tony trying to hurt him as much as possible so no, in the midst of the pummeling, he did not let go! Soem witnesses said it was as short at 20-30 seconds!
By FOTO (36), Lake Grove on Dec 1, 09 9:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
speak only if you were there. One witness sitting at the table beside the incident was recorded to have said...the hold was seconds.
By jules612 (7), lk grive on Dec 10, 09 12:50 PM
or a judge and DA that know there is no case and even criminally negligent homocide is reaching. thats obvious no matter which end of the island you watch from. Very sad story and obvious abuse of authority, but not a murder. he should walk.
By username1 (32), bay shore on Dec 1, 09 1:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
I don't think that this is an appropriate forum for your levity.

I think that if this had happened to one of your loved ones you would have a different opinion, its obvious that you like to stir up the comment section with your nonsense.
By pjcd (24), Smithtown on Dec 1, 09 7:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on Dec 2, 09 1:26 AM
I don't understand why manslaughter 1 wasn't one of the charges way back in the arraignment...
By italianstallion (10), north salem on Dec 1, 09 2:13 PM
Not to put any cart before any horse, but rather to have an understanding how the jurors choices have been restricted, and the choice of possible sentences reduced:

Sentences:

For Murder in the Second Degree, as charged in the indictment:
An indeterminate Sentence of imprisonment is mandatory. Penal Law 60.05(2). The maximum term must be life, and the minimum term may be not less than 15 years nor more than 25 years. Penal Law 70.00. Thus, the least sentence is 15 years to ...more
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 2:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
Is there a statute for drunkenly choking a man for over two minutes?
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Dec 1, 09 2:49 PM
Manslaughter in the Second Degree is reckless murder. Intoxication is a defense to the intentional murder, and would take it down to reckless murder.

However, reckless murder is not before the jury for consideration. Intoxication is not a defense to reckless conduct. Both the DA and the Defense have refused this charge, and the judge has let them make their own bed, so to speak.

"A person acts Reckless with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining ...more
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 2:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
One of the know-it-all ladies posted that Tony was not drunk, so what's the real story?
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Dec 1, 09 2:58 PM
The law on lesser included charges:

§ 300.50. Court's charge; submission of lesser included offenses

1. In submitting a count of an indictment to the jury, the court in its discretion may, in addition to submitting the greatest offense which it is required to submit, submit in the alternative any lesser included offense if there is a reasonable view of the evidence which would support a finding that the defendant committed such lesser offense but did not commit the greater. ...more
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 3:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
Were you there Bayshore? Or are you just making a comment based on your personal opinion of persons who work in Law enforcement. Andy was not a bully it was not in his personality at all to consider himself above the law simply because he was a corrections officer. My question still remains. Why didn't Mr. Oddone get off the table when he was asked politely to do so? Why did he find it necessary to instead to be disrespectful and use profane language. This is based on EYEWITNESS testimony. Inmates ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Dec 1, 09 3:31 PM
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username 1 from Bay Shore- No it doesn't matter what end of the island you are from but Mr. Oddone took Mr. Reister's life. How can you say that he should walk? Did you read all those eye witness accounts? Obvious abuse of authority? R u kidding. Perhaps if it was your husband or father or brother maybe you could get a sense of what the Reisters have gone through and not let a man "walk" after he took another mans life.
By LocalTeacher (23), Southampton on Dec 1, 09 5:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
Anthony Oddone worked as a bouncer, and struck someone over the head with a beer bottle. And yet Oddone supporters claim an off-duty corrections officer was abusing his power with a mere shove. Hypocrisy at it's most heinous. Surely the person Oddone hit in the head with the bottle was more reasonably "in fear of his life" than Oddone was during his second (that we're aware of) bar room altercation. Isn't it amazing that the person Oddone hit over the head with a beer bottle didn't turn around and ...more
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 1, 09 5:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
When you look at the choices given to the jury it is really a choice of:

murder in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide, or an outright acquittal.

MANSLAUGHTER IN THE FIRST DEGREE:
The other charge given to the jury, Manslaughter in the First Degree, requires that the jury find that the defendant intended to cause serious physical injury to Mr. Reister. The very nature of choking someone is to either kill them, by strangulation, or incapacitate them for the time ...more
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 6:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
Publius: I want to thank you for your calm and on target posts. Fear not --- there is ample room for us all to express our comments .
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Dec 1, 09 8:05 PM
Anthony Oddone worked as a bouncer, and struck someone over the head with a beer bottle. And yet Oddone supporters claim an off-duty corrections officer was abusing his power with a mere shove. Hypocrisy at it's most heinous. Surely the person Oddone hit in the head with the bottle was more reasonably "in fear of his life" than Oddone was during his second (that we're aware of) bar room altercation. Isn't it amazing that the person Oddone hit over the head with a beer bottle didn't turn around and ...more
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 1, 09 8:33 PM
Publius, I believe you have misinterpreted the partial verdict section, though I can see how you would. The language of the CPL and Penal Law is grossly obtuse, to say the least, and easy to misconstrue. The partial verdict statute would come into play if the defendant were being charged with more than one offense. Say you robbed someone, and afterward while running away they fell and cut their face open. The DA has charged you with both robbery and assault, claiming you harmed the persons face. ...more
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 1, 09 7:31 PM
Respectfully, you are mistaken about the partial verdict statute.
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 8:55 PM
I'm not above being corrected, if I am in fact mistaken. Care to explain why you think so?
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 1, 09 9:02 PM
I did not suggest he could be found guilty of all three options.

The process is that the jury first considers Murd. 2, then Man 1, then Crim Neg. They may reach a not guilty verdict on the Murd. 2 (this is ordinarily not reported until deliberations on the lesser offenses are concluded)

If the jury gets hung on Man 1 or finds him not guilty of Man 1 but gets hung on Crim Neg., the Court may take a partial verdict of not guilty on the Murd. 2 and Man 1 and then direct continued ...more
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 9:05 PM
Thanks for your answer Publius, but I still think you are misinterpreting the statute; specifically, reading too much into it. If you try re-reading it at face value, without refering to this case specifically, maybe you'll be able to see what I meant in my explanation. Yet of course, if you choose to respectfully disagree, that's fine.


By the way, I believe I found an answer to one of your questions (taken from an article within this site): "During his autopsy on Mr. Reister, Dr. ...more
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 1, 09 9:30 PM
The only reason that I can see for both prosecution and defense resisting a Man 2 charge is that the former thinks that it is too cheap a penalty and the latter may want to make the jury decide between Man 1 and Negligent Homicide.

Without Man 2, I think that it will be Negligent Homicide.

I think that the prosecution has erred. The jury thinks that Oddone is culpable, but not of a premeditated act. Man 2 would have flown.
By highhatsize (4146), East Quogue on Dec 1, 09 8:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
I agree. The prosecution could have had Man. 2, but because it is their burden of proof the case will fall on the crim. neg side of the fence, if this jury that has been marked by self accusation can even reach a verdict at all
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 8:54 PM
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You say that like the DA was shooting craps in a back alley..'they could have had man 2 etc..'.. Don't forget, Oddone was indicted on not one, but two counts of Murder 2, by a (Grand) Jury of his Peers. It wasn't the defense v prosecution at a flea market, haggling for a deal for kicks. A man lost his life. Obviously, the grand jury felt there was sufficient cause to pursue Murder charges.
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 1, 09 9:00 PM
The DA obtained an indictment that had two inconsistent counts. The depraved murder statute can not be charged in this case and never should have been.

When the DA got a depraved mind murder count from the grand jury it was based on an illegal application of the law and the grand jury, that is instructed by the prosecutor without a judge, did what grand juries do. It indicted. By the way, the standard of proof in the grand jury is reasonable cause to believe, not proof beyond a reasonable ...more
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 9:25 PM
The DA was not forced to do anything, she had a choice between the two, and chose Intent. A conviction of Murder 2 under Depraved Indifference is the same exact statute as Murder 2/ Intent. Same charge, same Class A felony. Different *elements* to prove, but BOTH Murder 2 nonetheless. So to say a conviction of Depraved Indifference would have been a "compromise" off of Intent makes no sense. Unless you are under the impression that the Depraved Indifference was a "lesser" charge. It is not.
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 1, 09 9:40 PM
http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=2853532&page=1

Please read the article above about the case People v. Payne. In the past juries were instructed to first consider intentional murder and then if they had found the defendant not guilty proceed to depraved mind murder. They were never told that it was the same level crime. It often resulted in a compromise verdict that wasn't even a compromise, but a fraud on the jury.
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 9:49 PM
Ironically, that article strengthens my point of view. Payne was convicted of Depraved Indifference, and had it overturned. He's right. He shot the guy. Personally I'd call it a "crime of passion", not Depraved Indifference. Now say after their argument, he killed the victim by beating the guy over the head with the 12 Gauge, repeatedly, for over two minutes, instead shooting him, THEN I'd say depraved indifference would certainly come into play. Can you see the contrast here?
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 1, 09 10:00 PM
From our New York State's highest court in 2005, People v. Suarez, 6 NY 3d 202

"Historically, depraved indifference murder had no application at all to one-on-one killings (see generally Bernard E. Gegan, A Case of Depraved Mind Murder, 49 St John's L Rev 417 [1974]). Accordingly, in Darry v People (10 N.Y. 120, Seld. Notes 246, 2 Park. Cr. 606 [1854]), this Court held that a conviction for "depraved mind" murder required conduct that endangered many people indiscriminately, reflecting ...more
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 10:40 PM
Jame Catterson died, R.I.P. The current DA is Thomas Spota, he is making his own reputation.
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 11:09 PM
The order of consideration is Murder 2; Man. 1 and then Crim Neg. Homicide. If at any point the agree on a conviction, then they don't go on to the next offense. At each step if they agree on acquittal, then they go on to the next lesser offense, in the order above.

Sometimes a jury may reach a verdict of not guilty on a greater offense, but get stuck, in this case on either Man 1 or Crim Neg. That is when the question of a partial verdict arises.
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 11:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
They do not do it that way, Publius. I'm trying to be patient with you but you are getting ridiculous. Only if you're sitting amongst them would you know what "order", if ANY, the jury is considering the charges. For all you know, their collective thoughts will be sporadic until they can pile them all up and figure each other out. They are not allowed to discuss the case, even with one another, until deliberations begin.

Just because you copy and paste the law as it is written from a webpage ...more
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 2, 09 4:37 PM
Guys,
I just joined this group. Anthony Oddone killed Andrew Reister in front of hundreds of people. To split hairs.. A friend of mine said the other day.. about a different discussion... no matter how thin you slice it, there is still two sides.

He killed a man in cold blood. New York has a death penalty, he should get it. We'll have to settle with LIFE.

My name is Chris Collins, and I live in North Sea.
By chairmanoftheBORED (12), Southampton on Dec 1, 09 10:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
CC: "He killed a man in cold blood."

Even coming in at the end of that as you have, how is it possible for you to make such an absurd statement?

"Cold blood," by definition, means it was intentional, and as we have already seen from the testimony, the Prosecution has failed to make that case. Even charging "Intentional Murder" in the first place suggests prosecutorial ineptitude.

The harshest the jury returns with would be Depraved Indifference.
By Frank Wheeler (1818), Northampton on Dec 2, 09 12:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
HEY EINSTEIN: DEPRAVED INDIFFERENCE has been OFF THE TABLE since the trial started. My my, you really are thick, aren't you. Trying to explain things to you yesterday was a complete waste, you poor thing...You are without a clue!! Thanks, seriously, I needed a hearty laugh!

Lesson of the day kids: You cannot have a battle of wits with the unarmed!!

By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 2, 09 8:05 PM
So with 100s of witnesses the prosecution could only find about 12 all with different versions of what happened? You would think out of 100s at least a few would have the same story, no?
By FOTO (36), Lake Grove on Dec 1, 09 10:19 PM
Not with drinks clouding the perceptions.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Dec 1, 09 10:40 PM
Did Andrew Reister die by accident ?
By chairmanoftheBORED (12), Southampton on Dec 1, 09 10:21 PM
Actually, any verdict other than intentional murder is a determination that the death was accidental. Some accidents are criminal in nature.
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 10:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
Andrew Reister died because Anthony Oddone choked him and then knowingly killed him cause Big Tony was embarrassed in front of a pretty girl.

By the way....I am wondering why NO ONE has defended Tony's actions in his other bar brawl. I know why...there is no excuse then and no excuse now for ANY of his actions.

What ever amount of time he gets will not change the fact that Oddone is a murderer and he will hopefully suffer on the inside for the rest of his life.....but it will ...more
By wondering (63), Southampton on Dec 2, 09 5:24 AM
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wondering & maryb123 have both demonstrated why jury selection is very important. It is essential that individuals with biases be excused from deliberations.

both maryb123 & wondering have made accusations that Mr. Oddone did something at some other time. If such accusations are to be tested with proof, have a trial on those accusations.

However, you can't bring untested, unchallenged, accusations about something else, from somewhere else, to prove the accusations in this case.

This ...more
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 2, 09 8:41 AM
1 member liked this comment
"However, you can't bring untested, unchallenged, accusations about something else, from somewhere else, to prove the accusations in this case." -Publius

Once again, shooting off when you don't know everything. At least in the other posts you have the CPL to rip apart and translate into your own wayward nonsense. Here you just made a statement which you absolutely know nothing about. I assure you, Big Tone was convicted of that which I spoke of, and then some. Perhaps the fact that these ...more
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 2, 09 4:45 PM
spare me - if Andrew at 285 pounds kept his hands to himself and stop playing pretend cop like tough guy and turned off the music to stop the dancing you wouldnt have to miss anyone. Further, with being appointed to desk duty for health reasons and not actually having a job as a bouncer (he was covering for his brother) - if he stayed home with his family, you would have no one to miss.
By jules612 (7), lk grive on Dec 10, 09 12:42 PM
Everyone is so curious about Oddone's previous bar altercation, which has no relevance in this case bc they are two seperate issues. I know what happened in that other incident and no matter what I say it wont be good enough for you people. Oddone was in a bar and there was a guy out of control who was trying to fight everyone. One of oddones friends hit the guy over the head with a beer bottle to stop the guy. Unfortunately, this kid was a cadet from a military school and if you get in trouble ...more
By friend4life (17), Ronkonkoma on Dec 2, 09 9:20 AM
U guys are laughable. Now he just took the rap in an assault case. hahaahahhahaahh hahaahahha keep trying to twist the facts. Your comrade Foto had this funny post too:

"So with 100s of witnesses the prosecution could only find about 12"

12 is not enough??? How about his buddies that were with him? We didn't hear from them. Why? Why didn't Canadian Adam get called or the others? Oh because they had the same story and the defense didnt want to beat a dead horse. U guys are not ...more
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Dec 2, 09 9:30 AM
1 member liked this comment
If the Oddone supporters on this website are the very people who had influence in his upbringing, then it's no wonder the kid doesn't think he did anything wrong. Between them and the blind rich folk footing his legal bills, why shouldn't he walk around like he's just the-poor-guy-out-for-a night and had to go and choke someone kind of fella. Amazing.
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 2, 09 4:51 PM
I said 12 people with VERY different stories! II was stating that if there were so many people there why didn't soem have the same story.The defense told you why she didn't call Adam. She didn't need to. The prosecution bears the burden of proof.
By FOTO (36), Lake Grove on Dec 2, 09 7:05 PM
friend4life- None the less- your friend killed him. Your friend now has to deal with the consequences. Why did Oddone feel he had to defend himself from BEHIND another man, larger or not? Why did Oddone have to continue a choke hold meant to restrain someone after their body was limp and lifeless? Are you telling me that he was still in fear of this 'much larger' limp and lifeless man? You and your friend have to realize that actions were taken that have consequences and now is the time to face ...more
By LocalTeacher (23), Southampton on Dec 2, 09 11:13 AM
So given your theory - if when reister pulled tony off the table, tony hit his head and died, you feel that Reister should go to jail for life then...right?
By jules612 (7), lk grive on Dec 10, 09 12:45 PM
friend4life-its a long trip upstate for lifetime visits, and its very cold up there
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Dec 2, 09 1:37 PM
1 member liked this comment
THERE SHOULD NOT EVEN BE A PLACE TO COMMENT ON THESE PAGES, EVERYONE IS GOING TO HAVE THEIR OWN OPINION AND EVERYONE IS GOING TO HAVE A DIFFERENT FEELING FOR A DIFFERENT SIDE.... SUPPORT WHO YOU KNOW WHETHER IT IS REISTER OR ODDONE AND GET A LIFEEEEEEE
By cmh314 (1), ronkonkoma on Dec 4, 09 10:02 PM
Hot Tubs,SALE, Southampton Village, SouthamptonFest weekend