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Apr 27, 2011 10:17 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Oddone Appeal Will Be Heard By Brooklyn Judges On Friday

Apr 27, 2011 10:57 AM

Attorneys for Anthony Oddone, the former golf caddy sentenced to 22 years in prison last year for killing a part-time bouncer at a Southampton Village tavern in 2008, will make their case in a Brooklyn appeals court this Friday morning that a new trial should be held.

The attorneys for Mr. Oddone will present oral arguments to a four-judge panel on why his December 2009 manslaughter conviction by a Suffolk County jury should be set aside. If the conviction is overturned, the case would be sent back to a Suffolk County court for retrial.

Mr. Oddone was acquitted of the most serious charge he faced, second-degree murder, but was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Andrew Reister, a 40-year-old Hampton Bays resident and father of two who worked part-time as a bouncer at the Southampton Publick House on his days off from his job as a guard at the Suffolk County Jail in Riverhead.

Mr. Oddone, who is serving out his sentence at the Attica Correctional Facility penitentiary upstate, will not be present in the courtroom on Friday. Once a person is convicted of a crime, he or she is not afforded the same rights as an accused defendant, and the State Department of Corrections refused a request by Mr. Oddone’s legal counsel to have him brought to the courtroom for the arguments.

The defense has already filed a brief laying out its arguments for a retrial in detail but declined to allow a copy of the brief to be shared with The Southampton Press prior to Friday’s arguments.

A friend of the Oddone family said the defendant is being represented before the appeals court by Mark Wolinsky of the Manhattan firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz. According to Mr. Wolinsky’s profile on the firm’s website, he is handling Mr. Oddone’s case pro bono and describes Mr. Oddone as having been “wrongly convicted.”

Mr. Wolinsky and his partner, Barry Skovgaard, are members of the The Bridge golf club in Noyac, where Mr. Oddone, who is originally from upstate New York, caddied during the summers while he was attending St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue. The two men and other members of The Bridge are believed to have paid for Mr. Oddone’s trial defense, which may have cost as much as $2 million. His defense attorney from the trial, Sarita Kedia, a former attorney for late mobster John Gotti, is advising on the appeal.

According to Bob Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas W. Spota’s office, the defense has requested a half-hour to present its argument to the judges, an unusually long amount of time. Assistant District Attorney Annie Oh will represent the prosecution.

Attorneys familiar with the Oddone case said the trial was rife with issues that could give a court reason to order a retrial.

“I can tell you, there are a number of major issues in that case,” veteran criminal defense attorney William Keahon said this week of the Oddone trial. “I’ve seen the briefs, and they are great—supremely well-written and argued.”

According to attorneys who have argued cases before State Appellate Division panels, appeals arguments typically focus on problems that arose during the initial trial that might have meant the defendant did not get a fair trial, or that might have resulted in a jury being steered toward one verdict or another. The presentation of evidence by either the prosecution or defense, the handling of the case by the trial judge, and the conduct of the jurors themselves are common targets of appeals challenges.

“Basically, the panel of judges have already done extensive reading on the case before there are oral arguments—briefs, transcripts, accounts of the trial, everything,” attorney Joe Ferrante said on Monday. “They are well appraised of what you are arguing, and they present you with questions to make you put a finer point on your argument. Everyone walks out feeling like the judges beat the hell out of them.”

Lawyers arguing appeals sometimes attempt to convince the judges that the sentence handed down was not commensurate with the crime committed. Only rarely do appellate arguments focus on the facts of the case in an attempt to convince the judges that the grounds for the conviction itself are not supported by the evidence presented at trial. Mr. Ferrante, who recently won a retrial on appeal in the case of Zachary Gibian, a teenager who was convicted in 2007 of killing his stepfather with a samurai sword, said that the majority of appeals are dismissed by the appellate court on the grounds that while various problems may have arisen during a trial, they could not be reasonably expected to have had an impact on the outcome.

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He's GUILTY, GUILTY GUILTY! Why a retrial??? LEAVE HIM IN THE PEN!!!!
By johnnyhampton (82), Southampton on Apr 27, 11 7:02 PM
2 members liked this comment
Why so he can do it to someone else. He has anger issues. He's right where he belongs. Throw away the key.
By lifesaver (118), speonk on Apr 27, 11 8:52 PM
2 members liked this comment
These lawyers are a big joke.
By nurse (53), sag harbor on Apr 28, 11 2:07 AM
2 members liked this comment
Apparently good caddy's are hard to find, is this piece of dirt worth the millions his golf buddies are spending?
By pjcd (24), Smithtown on Apr 28, 11 6:12 AM
3 members liked this comment
He probably has information the golf buddies don't want others to know .
By ELECTRICUTIONER (65), east islip/montauk on Apr 28, 11 5:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
He's guilty
By Southampton Native (3), Southampton on Apr 28, 11 9:46 AM
Unlikely Oddone is guilty! Clearly, this was an unforeseeable accident!
Based on “Over Zealous” prosecution a new trial is logical and a reversal is required.
Furthermore, the jury was a mess and the story they heard during trial had holes. Twelve people agreeing on guilty without a reasonable doubt, with those facts is Beyond Belief. Oddone deserves a new trial as no reasonable person would want anyone to be convicted under those circumstances.
I know Oddone enough to ...more
By R SPORT (2), Southampton on Apr 28, 11 1:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
Mr. Sport,
In reply to your over zealous response, may I add that no reasonable person would want anyone to be choked and murdered the way Andrew Reister was put to death.

With Oddone's history, and the way he acted the night of August 8, 2008 PROVED without doubt that he has anger issues. He acted like an animal on prey. Fearing for his life...I think NOT! Andrew was his prey, Andrew was the victim.

His anger issues created a series of events that destroyed Andrew's bright ...more
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Apr 28, 11 4:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
So let me get this straight. A guy gets into a bar fight. Leaps onto a man who outweighs him by 100 lbs and chokes him to death WITH HIS OWN HANDS... while others tried to stop him... and you claim he has no anger issues? And it's the bar's fault for not having security?

I don't even think Oddone claimed self defense did he? What is wrong with you people?
By littleplains (305), olde england on Apr 28, 11 5:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
Another friend of Oddone weighs in. Heaven help us.
He had MAJOR anger issues in bars. It's documented but not allowed during the trial.

Your remarks arestupid as to be otherworldly and would have been infuriating- but all ofus on this comment thread went through this last year with you morons who defended this murderer during the trial.

BTW Everyone here also noticed that this was your very first comment on 27 East.

By elliot (254), sag harbor on Apr 28, 11 6:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
Why would anyone put up $2 million to support his defense...I just have to wonder!!
By LocalGuy (28), Southampton on Apr 28, 11 7:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
Just curious but what does the number of comments have to do with it?
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on May 2, 11 6:26 AM
Danced on table, asked to get off table, goes into a drunken rage and strangles the security guard, now children without a father, wife without a husband, brothers without a brother......let him decorate his cell, he will be there for a while...( dont we remember he has a history of bar fights, and anger issues, he is where he belongs) .
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on Apr 28, 11 1:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
Caddies are sacred cows to the rich. They know ALL the secrets when you play 18 holes with them and bare your soul. I'll bet the farm that he's got something on one of these rich golfers he caddies for, and now it's that golfer's turn to do him the favor by bankrolling this appeal and vouching for his "character". Happens all the time in the country club world. Disgraceful that a Murderer can potentially walk away from his crime with the right set of friends and their lawyers behind him.
By AARGHHH (12), Hamptons on Apr 28, 11 4:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
You hit the nail on the head AARGHHH !!!
By ELECTRICUTIONER (65), east islip/montauk on Apr 28, 11 5:13 PM
You are Exactly right!!! I mean, c'mon... This golfer spends over 2 million dollars in legal fees for a simple caddy at his golf club??? This is TOTALLY unrealistic. I'm betting he wouldn't even do that for his own nephew.

There's some real dirt in this relationship- Guaranteed!
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Apr 28, 11 8:05 PM
2 members liked this comment
Speaking of Anger, see posts above.

Justice will prevail.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Apr 28, 11 7:56 PM
Overzealous prosecution refers to someone instituting legal proceedings against a defendant for criminal behavior with the intention to support an excessive enthusiasm for some cause, rather than with any genuine basics for the suit.

The cause was a popular hometown father of 2 and he was in a horrible accident. The judge permitted the D.A. excessive latitude in a variety of areas and denied reasonable requests by the defense, which is not fair and it is not the law. Subsequently, the judge ...more
By R SPORT (2), Southampton on Apr 28, 11 8:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
"Unless you are an expert, it is ridiculous for you to determine anyone’s anger issues by their history or how anyone will react after being pushed off a table. I believe, Oddone was denied an expert. "

An expert in what, anger issues? This sentence, not surprisingly, makes little sense.

Would he have listened to the DJ say get down, after being told to get down by someone else? He was told to get down more than once. He didn't.

"Oddone was caught off guard". ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on May 4, 11 2:38 PM
R Sport, your scaring me. Never heard somebody so out of touch on the subject. Obviously your Oddones friend or family member but come on? You say he didnt get a fair shake? Go ask those two kids whats fair? And you really have some nerve questionong the intent of other patrons at the bar that night. That is a low blow! Why cant your friend take responsibilty for his own reactions?
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Apr 28, 11 9:22 PM
After today's court date, Oddone will remain in prison- where he belongs.
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Apr 29, 11 8:09 AM
2 members liked this comment
Pro bono.... hmmm. What a good samaritan. I am, of course, being facetious.
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Apr 29, 11 10:47 AM
A guy chokes another guy in a room full of people, victim dies, defendant gets a manslaughter charge, I think he got off easy, why is this being dragged out. Haven't the family and friends gone through enough. I know people who were there and some have still not recovered, lets this guy rot!
By patrick61 (18), Hampton Bays on Apr 29, 11 10:53 AM
2 members liked this comment
Sport, you may know scumbag but i knew victim and this was a good guy who's life was taken by said scumbag, you can ramble all you want, this guy was as guilty as they get and quite frankly, i hope it goes back to trial and he ends up with murder 2!
By patrick61 (18), Hampton Bays on Apr 29, 11 11:00 AM
2 members liked this comment
@ Patrick.
Please know that, aside for the obscenely absurd comments from the ridiculous person called "R Spor"t, mostly all commentators here agree with you wholeheartedly.

I know that I do!

It's obscene that the family of Mr. Reister needs to once again think about this murderer.

By elliot (254), sag harbor on Apr 29, 11 2:00 PM
2 members liked this comment
You are so right, Elliot!
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Apr 29, 11 4:40 PM
I knew the Reister family, went to school with older brother, Larry. Knew the parents very well, Andrew was the kid brother who never caused any problems to his family. Larry and the parents are gone, and of course, now so is Andrew. Don't judge a book by it's cover? Judge a man by his actions. The amount of rage exhibited by the convicted man is undeniable. Killing someone with your bare hands? You are known by the company you keep? I'd be very suspicious of those golfers aka lawyers. I wonder ...more
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Apr 29, 11 2:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
I know the Reister family myself, very well. Couldn't agree with you more. Larry's parents are deceased...but Larry is still very much alive, thank God...he's a great guy.

Your remarks are so true, Summertime. Thank you.
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Apr 29, 11 3:21 PM
Summertime...
I am just wondering if you have it all correct...
Andrew was not Larry's brother....

It was Larry, George & a sister...
Andrew was George's son. And, yes, he was a wonderful son.
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Apr 29, 11 3:39 PM
Summertime,
I remember two brothers but I don`t recall a sister, what was her name??
By Patricia Eckey (1), Sag Harbor on Apr 29, 11 4:24 PM
Actually, Andrew's parents and two brothers are all very much alive. Larry would be his uncle. And it is very sad to have to see the entire family go through this again.
By sunnyside (4), Southampton on May 2, 11 2:39 PM
WOW!! Wasn't this the same juror who complained and had the others kicked off???!!! What a shame for the Reister family, to have to endure this again is very sad. And I agree, what interest does this attorney have? Obviously he has made a successful career for himself, why invest all of this money in someone not even related to him? You can't write this stuff....
By Truth prevails (17), Long Island on Apr 30, 11 12:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
To 27East...
Where's the follow up from Friday's hearing?
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Apr 30, 11 6:00 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Apr 30, 11 10:04 PM
What was considered "inappropriate"....it wasn't a duplicate..and it wasn't off topic.
It was a referral to the question elliot asked. No private, confidential information revealed. ???
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on May 1, 11 3:49 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 2, 11 6:47 AM
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 "rap sheet" to prove it. A choke hold of the nature ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 2, 11 4:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
Let's try this again, the convict shopuld have been sent to Riverhead and put in the general population. Ture justice would have prevailed and this appeal would not be happening. HOW'S THAT ?
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 2, 11 4:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
27East.... We're still looking for the follow up to this story.
By elliot (254), sag harbor on May 3, 11 2:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By MICHAELK (3), MONTAUK on Jul 7, 11 7:11 AM