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Sep 30, 2009 12:55 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Club members offer $1 million for Oddone bail; trial nears start

Sep 30, 2009 12:55 PM

A Suffolk County Court judge this week denied a request by the attorney for Anthony Oddone to have the accused killer released on $1 million bail during his upcoming trial, which would have been put up, in cash, by two members of The Bridge golf course, where Mr. Oddone worked as a caddy.

Mr. Oddone’s attorney, Sarita Kedia, also told Judge C. Randall Hinrichs on Monday afternoon that one of the members had offered to have Mr. Oddone stay, under house arrest, at his home in Southampton, and that Mr. Oddone would wear an electronic monitoring device 24 hours a day and could be ordered to report to an official every day if the judge deemed necessary, after his release on bail. The two club members were present in the courtroom throughout the day on Monday but declined to talk to reporters or identify themselves. Ms. Kedia told the judge that both men were attorneys.

Judge Hinrichs said, however, that because of the weight of the evidence against the 26-year-old and the severity of the possible sentence, he was not willing to grant Mr. Oddone bail just a few days before the trial was to begin. Jury selection is scheduled to start Monday, October 5.

The judge also denied a subsequent request by Ms. Kedia for a change of venue for the trial because, she said, Mr. Oddone’s incarceration at the Rikers Island jail in New York City would make it nearly impossible for her to meet with her client after daily court proceedings in Riverhead. She said that even when she drives to the Rikers Island facility, two hours from the East End, it takes nearly another two hours from the time of arrival to when she can actually be seated with her client because of the size and complexity of the jail. She noted that the facilities in the courtroom at the Arthur M. Cromarty Court Complex in Riverhead are insufficient to allow her to meet with Mr. Oddone, except through a glass partition in a small room adjacent the courtroom, which prevents her from reviewing documents with her client. She asked that the trial be moved to a venue closer to New York City.

Judge Hinrichs said he would not grant the venue change but would order that special arrangements be made for guards to remain in the courtroom after each day’s trial proceedings to allow Ms. Kedia and Mr. Oddone to meet in the courtroom itself before Mr. Oddone is taken back to Rikers Island at night. The judge acknowledged state budgetary shortages—court officers are state employees—and lamented that Mr. Oddone could not be kept at the Suffolk County Jail, which is next door to the courthouse but is also where Andrew Reister, the Hampton Bays man whom Mr. Oddone is accused of killing last year, worked as a prison guard. The judge said that the ramifications if “something were to happen” to Mr. Oddone while he was at the Riverhead jail would be too great to risk.

Judge Hinrichs also denied Ms. Kedia’s request to prohibit corrections officers from attending the trial in uniform. About a dozen uniformed officers from the state Department of Corrections, many of them former co-workers of Mr. Reister, have been in the courtroom for each day of pre-trial hearings over the last two months. Their presence was a “tribute to the victim” that would unfairly influence the jury, Ms. Kedia argued.

“This is a small courtroom,” she said. “If one side of the room is filled with uniformed officers, there is no question that there is an impermissible risk of prejudice. The very purpose of it is to make it clear to the jury that they want a conviction of Mr. Oddone.”

Ms. Kedia claimed that officers had taken down license plate numbers of members of The Bridge last year, presumably in an attempt to discourage members from supporting Mr. Oddone’s defense. It is believed that members of the club are paying Ms. Kedia’s fee.

The judge was not swayed, noting that only a relatively small number of officers have been present for the pre-trial hearings, but he said he would “monitor” the presence of officers in the courtroom closely as the trial got underway.

The judge also ruled that some of Mr. Oddone’s criminal history could be discussed during the trial. Mr. Oddone was convicted of petit larceny in 2004, after he and another man were caught stealing electronics from an upstate WalMart they worked at and selling them on eBay. Ms. Kedia said that if such criminal history were admissible she may have to refrain from calling Mr. Oddone to the stand, to prevent the subject from being broached.

The judge, however, disallowed discussion of Mr. Oddone twice violating his probation—once for receiving a summons for unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, and again for moving to Long Island when he transferred colleges in 2005—as well as his arrest in 2005 for destruction of property when he threw several tables and chairs off a patio at a bar and an incident in which Mr. Oddone was accused of striking another man with a beer bottle while Mr. Oddone was working as a bouncer in a bar.

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The guy sounds like a real winner. Nice to see the members at the Bridge helping this guy out instead of helping out the family who had their father taken away from them.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Sep 30, 09 3:08 PM
2 members liked this comment
How about The Bridge offer damages to the Reister family? I'm sure they have some bills to pay.
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Sep 30, 09 3:36 PM
2 members liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By ELECTRICUTIONER (65), east islip/montauk on Sep 30, 09 3:39 PM
I was beginning to really like this judge, until I read he's disallowing Oddone's prior violent attack. Maybe we should move him to the Suffolk jail.
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Sep 30, 09 3:43 PM
Ms Jane, while I am certainly not defending this dirtbag defendant, it is normal not to allow prior "bad acts" into court. Ask Lenny Briscoe, even on the reruns of Law and Order, and even though he is dead, he still wigs out when they have these silly rules that lawyers have to live by.
By Terry (380), Southampton on Sep 30, 09 3:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
I can not figure out why anyone would do anything for this waste of space
By local (106), north sea on Sep 30, 09 10:12 PM
This jerks attorney looks very unhappy..but then I guess she doesn't have a whole lot to smile about, seeing this pond scum's defense is so flimsy...And ya know..my heart just bleeeeds for her; having to travel so far to speak with her client...(boo hoo)...cry me a river! Like she wasn't aware of this when she took him on as her client...C'mon..gimme a break! Sounds like this Judge is wise to their ploys and lame excuses-- But c'mon Lady...give us a smile! At least ACT like you've got a shred ...more
By Nonnie6 (1), Delhi on Sep 30, 09 10:46 PM
What sort of humans are these Bridge members that they place so much more value on a killer than on the victim and his family? Why are they not named? Is it because decent people might turn their backs on them?
By SusieD (115), Southampton on Oct 1, 09 8:34 AM
What idiots! I guess a good caddy is hard to find. I guess money cant buy everything...including brains.
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Oct 1, 09 9:21 AM
The judge made some good decisions .
I wouldn't want that woman as my lawyer .
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Oct 1, 09 9:54 AM
A million dollars? Are you kidding me? Wouldnt it be nice if the judge had the ability to seize these funds and forward them to the victims family? The defendant's supporters have shown that they clearly dont need the money. If they are willing to to offer it for this P.O.S. then they should have no problem seeing it go the people who need it, thanks to the actions of Mr. Oddone.

PS - As a caddy, I can honestly say that Mr. Oddone and these members of the Bridge have given a bad name ...more
By sparkhampton (27), Hampton Bays on Oct 1, 09 9:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
A million dollars? Are you kidding me? Wouldnt it be nice if the judge had the ability to seize these funds and forward them to the victims family? The defendant's supporters have shown that they clearly dont need the money. If they are willing to to offer it for this P.O.S. then they should have no problem seeing it go the people who need it, thanks to the actions of Mr. Oddone.

PS - As a caddy, I can honestly say that Mr. Oddone and these members of the Bridge have given a bad name ...more
By sparkhampton (27), Hampton Bays on Oct 1, 09 9:57 PM
I cant imagine how a nobody rates the trust of a couple of wealthy lawyers for them to offer to put up a huge cash bail. What if the dweeb runs?? It doesnt add up. There has to be more to Mr. Oddone than we know about.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Oct 2, 09 6:59 AM
What so many of the pseudonymous responders here are ignoring is that, as unsavory a character as Mr. Oddone appears to be, and as terrible is the act as he is accused of committing, he still deserves a defense.

I haven't seen anyone here who actually knows the accused, make any comment, just a number of website visitors beating their chests and forming a cyber-mob calling for Oddone's head on a pike.

This is still the American Criminal Justice System, and if some people who actually ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 2, 09 9:24 AM
2 members liked this comment
Well...i worked at a local golf club for many years. I didnt caddy but worked in a different area where you deal with the golfers personally. Over time you become 'friends' with these members that you see pretty much on a daily basis. Many of whom are usually very wealthy....

A wealthy golf club is usually a good place to make connections.

Ill assume Mr. Oddone probably caddied for these gentlemen on a regular basis.

By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Oct 2, 09 10:39 AM
Yes, Mr Oddone dose deserve a fair trial, nobody would deny him that. But what he doesn't deserve is to be out on bail, and if ill advised people of wealth wish to take the risk and put up the money thats their choice. I've heard enough facts stated in the court room to know he is not a good person.
By pjcd (24), Smithtown on Oct 2, 09 11:35 AM
Ok everyone Frank said to cut it out and stop the posturing. Ha ha! The blogging on this site was created to give peoples OPINIONS. Just because most people don't agree with you doesnt mean they are wrong. Don't worry Frank even though most people want his head on a platter he will get his defense. Hopefully he will get what he deserves.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Oct 2, 09 10:04 AM
Yes, hopefully he WILL get what he deserves. Step one is that he's getting a defense funded by some people who DO know him.

There willl be a trial, and a jury of his peers will determine what he "deserves," not a bunch of anonymous poseurs without most of the facts.

Let me ask you, Razza5350, would you care to be "judged" by a group of people who only know what a newspaper has reported?
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 4, 09 12:28 PM
Its typical how out of touch people with money are, just because he caddies for them "on a daily basis" they think they know him. Oddone is a individual who appears to have gotten away with numerous offences against society with little to no consequences for his actions, that is till now. Now he wants to be out on bail so he can resume some normalcy to his life while he's on trial for murder. To bad Andrew Reiater doesn't have the luxury of carrying on with his life.

Lets make no mistake ...more
By pjcd (24), Smithtown on Oct 2, 09 11:25 AM
2 members liked this comment
I know some of the Bridge members and I can't believe they side with this lowlife,I mean " killer" ,then again they might have played golf with OJ
By nurse (53), sag harbor on Oct 3, 09 2:11 AM
ins I find your comments amusing. The bottom line is he DID kill someone and he must answer for that
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Oct 3, 09 9:25 PM
Due to alcohol being involved, and the nature of the incident, I may have to agree with INS on the issue of charges.

He may not yet be found guilty, but it seems he has enjoyed, and abused, his freedom in this life.

Out on bail?

I think not...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 6, 09 2:51 PM
I always knew Golf was a dead end sport full of ugly people (for the most part)... Nice work gentlemen, your true colors shine through for the murderer-underdog... Did he provide an extra handicap for you, perhaps? Or let me guess, "He always knew the right tool for the job.." He certainly did, and ended an inspirational man/father/husband/brother/son's/etc life...
Wouldn't it be a great if The Bridge broke the bridge between the sharks that support the killers...? Blacklist these guys from ...more
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Oct 21, 09 2:18 PM