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Nov 20, 2009 4:16 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Prosecution rests, defense case opens in Oddone trial

Nov 20, 2009 4:16 PM

After calling some 28 witnesses over five weeks of testimony in a Riverhead courtroom, the prosecution on Friday morning rested its case against Anthony Oddone, a golf caddy accused of killing off-duty corrections officer Andrew Reister in August 2008.

Judge C. Randall Hinrichs denied a motion immediately afterward by Mr. Oddone’s attorney, Sarita Kedia, to have the charges against her client dismissed. Ms. Kedia maintained that the prosecution had not proven that Mr. Oddone, 26, was guilty of murder in connection with the death of Mr. Reister during a struggle in a Southampton tavern. Mr. Oddone is charged with second-degree murder and accused of intentionally killing Mr. Reister, a Hampton Bays resident who was 40 at the time of his death, during a struggle at the Southampton Publick House, where Mr. Reister was moonlighting as a bouncer. Witnesses said Mr. Oddone held Mr. Reister in a choke hold from behind during the scuffle until long after he had lost consciousness, despite bystanders’ efforts to make him release the hold.

“The people have presented no evidence whatsoever as to Mr. Oddone’s intent to cause Mr. Reister’s death,” she argued to the judge. “I think the people have failed to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt, both with regard to intent and causation.” Judge Hinrichs denied her motion to dismiss.

Ms. Kedia immediately began calling witnesses for the defense. Her first witness, Dr. Daniel Spitz, took the stand on Friday afternoon. Dr. Spitz is a forensic pathologist from Michigan and the editor of a textbook on forensic pathology.

Before starting her case, Ms. Kedia submitted background information to the court for Dr. Spitz and three other doctors she might call as defense witnesses, including a cardiologist and a psychologist. She said the psychologist will testify about memory and the unreliability of eyewitness accounts.

The prosecution rested after nearly three days of testimony by Southampton cardiologist Dr. Miguel Blanco. During her lengthy cross examination of Dr. Blanco, Ms. Kedia focused on Mr. Reister’s diagnoses three years earlier with sleep apnea and cardiac arrhythmia.

The trial is expected to last until after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Mr. Oddone has been accused of intentionally killing Mr. Reister after the bouncer, whose full-time job was as a Suffolk County Jail corrections officer, ordered him to stop dancing on a table at the Publick House. He has been charged with second-degree murder and faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. Because Mr. Reister worked at the Suffolk County Jail in Riverhead—at least a dozen of his co-workers have attended each day of testimony in the trial thus far—Mr. Oddone has been held at the New York City jail on Rikers Island for the 15 months since his arrest.

The prosecution’s case against Mr. Oddone focused on the length of time the defendant held Mr. Reister in a choke hold after the victim had fallen unconscious. He died days after the incident, having never regained consciousness.

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I think to sole issue at trial is whether Oddone a case has been made for " intentionally" killing the decedent.

I didn't think so before the trail, and I am just as dubious now that the prosecution has rested.

Will the jury be given an instruction for "Depraved Indifferent Homicide?" We shall see, but that looks like a slam dunk right now.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 20, 09 4:39 PM
What looks like "a slam dunk" right now? Your comment is grammatically and structurally atrocious. Really, what is your question? Or point? The articles have clearly stated that the DA was going for Murder 2, under the subsection defining Intent. The District Attorney's job therefore was to prove the elements of said charge. Oddone was indicted on both that charge, AND Murder 2 as defined by the subsection Depraved Indifference...or as you refer to it "depraved indifference homicide". The DA chose ...more
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Nov 20, 09 6:43 PM
That first sentence is garbled... but I get the drift.

My question: Why are you so "Pro Oddone"? DO YOU THINK THIS IS SOME KIND OF CONTEST ? Do you think its fun to keep track of the daily stats??

A man was murdered here...its not a continuing saga on television. Get a life...and not just you Mr. Wheeler, but all the rest of you on here that get so excited putting in your two cents every time a new article is posted. All of you that know a lot about nothing!

By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Nov 20, 09 9:15 PM
Mary, you seem very well-informed and educated, but have you yourself been sitting through the trial every day, or at all?
By lowenbrau37 (7), sag harbor on Nov 20, 09 10:23 PM
Golly, that first sentence WAS garbled, AnonymousSgh; it should have read: "I think the sole issue at trial is whether a case has been made for Oddone 'intentionally' killing the decedent." I'm not sure how that happened, but thank you for recognizing it for what was intended.

In response to your question, I'm not sure why you would think I was "pro-Oddone." I'm not!

I'd like to see justice done here, and not the type of storm-the-jail, death-by-evisceration "justice" some of ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 21, 09 8:50 AM
Thank you to Mike and the Press for their prompt reporting-Newsday and News 12 have no story yet.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Nov 20, 09 4:47 PM
I wouldn't exactly call just hearing a doctor has been testifying for three days as prompt reporting. The defense attorney seems like she is simply throwing hail Mary's. When someone chokes another person for over two minutes that's murder no matter what this author thinks.
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Nov 20, 09 6:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
the person was 'choked' for no more than 25 seconds. but good thing you're well informed on the incident.
By lowenbrau37 (7), sag harbor on Nov 20, 09 10:20 PM
And where did you get that fact??
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Nov 20, 09 10:59 PM
i think that being there that night would give me a pretty good concept of the timing.
By lowenbrau37 (7), sag harbor on Nov 21, 09 11:49 AM
So tell me, did you do the right thing...did you step up to the plate....did you try to help Andrew?
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on Nov 21, 09 12:39 PM
i think all of you people commenting here are ridiculous. if you don't know anything about the trial, or the people involved, you should refrain from voicing your ignorant opinions. "reading the articles" is definitely not being knowledgeable of the situation, as 99% of the articles are one-sided and fictitious anyway. Just stick to watching judge judy to get your crime fix.
By lowenbrau37 (7), sag harbor on Nov 20, 09 10:19 PM
2 members liked this comment
Actually, Lowenbrau, if YOU were informed by more than just "reading the articles", then you would know that the articles are certainly not "fictitious and one sided". Sure, either side can read them, and pick out pieces they feel are biased towards the defense (or the prosecution) at certain points, but I assure you, the information reported as to what was testified in the courtroom is accurate. As for your question: "Do some here actually feel they have some special knowledge of, or proprietary ...more
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Nov 21, 09 12:31 PM
Lowenbrau, pardon the second half of my post, for it was Mr. Wheeler's question that I was referring to.

I'll still be looking out for the 25 second witness, however.
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Nov 21, 09 12:42 PM
Do some here actually feel they have some special knowledge of, or proprietary interest in, this trail?

Sure sounds like it, so if anyone has any special qualifications, please be sure to post them in your next comment.

Lowenbrau37, get off your high horse!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 21, 09 8:55 AM
off my high horse?? ha, okay judge wheeler.
By lowenbrau37 (7), sag harbor on Nov 21, 09 11:50 AM
Frank...Southampton is a small town where everyone knows each other. I went to high school with Andy, some people probably grew up with him, or know him or members of his family in some way another. So , yes there is a strong interest in the out come of this trial;not just for me but for the people of the community that we both grew up in. Its something we should all remember, its hard to keep emotions out of these posts. I'm wondering if it were your loved one, would you be able to maintain your ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Nov 23, 09 4:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
According to the Newsday coverage many things of note happened at the trial. Some Medical Examiner from Detroit (thats where all the good ones or maybe just the poor ones are from) and was paid 16 K by the defense. The defense called the lead homicide investigator for the Suffolk County and he testified employees of the Bridge stonewalled the investigation denying Tony worked there. Why did the defense call him? Why won't this paper cover it? It is no wonder ur once cash cow of a paper is struggling ...more
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Nov 24, 09 8:19 AM
Do you think it is uncommon for experts to be called into trials from locations outside of the jurisdiction of where the case is being tried? This is common practice during the course of trials and so is the monetary compensation of expert witnesses. There is nothing about him being from Michigan nor his payemnt that discredits his expert opinion. In fact, because he is not employed by Suffolk County, where there have been obvious cover ups and loss of important documentation as uncovered during ...more
By FOTO (36), Lake Grove on Nov 24, 09 9:51 AM
Oh, more hail mary's. Yeah the best Medical Examiners are from Detroit.
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Nov 24, 09 10:04 AM
Typical SCPD bullshyte. Get the witnesses to say what you want, and make sure none of the others will testify.
By THE EQUALIZER (62), JERICHO on Dec 7, 09 4:35 PM