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Dec 9, 2009 2:49 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Oddone jury a week into deliberations

Dec 9, 2009 2:49 PM

Judge Hinrichs read back all four charges, despite Ms. Merrifield’s request. The remaining two charges—criminally negligent homicide and second-degree manslaughter—do not require the jury to conclude that there was an intent to kill or cause serious physical injury.

The altercation between Mr. Reister and Mr. Oddone broke out inside the Southampton Publick House, where Mr. Reister had been moonlighting as a bouncer for about eight months, after Mr. Reister asked Mr. Oddone to stop dancing on a table.

According to witnesses, Mr. Oddone refused, Mr. Reister pushed him off the table and a scuffle ensued with Mr. Oddone putting Mr. Reister in a choke hold from behind. Mr. Reister fell unconscious and was declared dead two days later, having never regained consciousness.

During the trial, Ms. Merrifield argued that the length of time Mr. Oddone held Mr. Reister in what she termed a “choke hold” demonstrated that he had intended to kill the bouncer. Several prosecution witnesses said the struggle last for more than two minutes. A deputy medical examiner who conducted an autopsy on Mr. Reister said that the man’s heart had stopped as a result of a “carotid sleeper hold”—a choking grip that does not cut off oxygen but places pressure on a main artery to the brain, causing the heart to stop beating. He said it could only have caused brain death if held for an extended period.

The defense case, conversely, claimed that Mr. Oddone was acting in self-defense after being attacked by Mr. Reister, who was larger than him. She argued that the chaos and noise of the bar, and of several patrons hitting him and pulling at him during the struggle clouded Mr. Oddone’s ability to judge the possibility that he could kill Mr. Reister. She also called doctors who pointed to Mr. Reister’s health problems, including cardiac issues, as the reason his heart stopped during the struggle.

The jury entered its sixth day of deliberations in the case on Wednesday.

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Interesting how -- after having seen and heard all the evidence and testimony -- the jury is still undecided after an entire week of deliberations, yet so many here have long ago made up their minds.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Dec 9, 09 12:23 PM
3 members liked this comment
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Dec 9, 09 3:03 PM
I submit that the weakness of the case and the conflicting statements from too many wittnesses over too long a time has done little more than create doubt in the minds of the jury. very poorly concieved plan by the ADA and weakly excecuted. so weak in fact that the jury now needs to "replay" the mess in order to even find a case. There is none. Our judge is over his head and the mishandling of the system all along has created a bad smell generraly. what the jury is finding is that there is no case ...more
By username1 (32), bay shore on Dec 9, 09 3:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
If I had strangled someone to death, let alone someone as well liked as Andrew was, in a room filled with over 100 people.. I am sure there would be a lot more prosecution than defense...

I was there that fateful night, I gave my information to police, but unfortunately, I was of no help, as all I saw was a before.. And after...

Guilty by association.. I've seen those guys around town before, and they're always acting like Bridge.. AND Tunnel Trash! Again, glad to see those trouser-trash ...more
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Dec 10, 09 1:57 PM
Editor -

The statement regarding Oddone being confined at Riker's Island confuses me. Around the beginning of the trial Oddone had been transferred to the Nassau County jail to shorten the transport time each day - there was a problem when his lawyer said she had not been informed of that move until after the fact. Please clarify when Oddone was returned to Riker's - if that is indeed the case, or if he remains in Nassau when not in court.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Dec 9, 09 4:17 PM
By open mind (18), southampton on Dec 9, 09 4:49 PM
He was transferred at the begining of the trial to "make the commute easier". Y dont u ask the CO's at Nassau why he isnt there and y that didnt work out.
By friend4life (17), Ronkonkoma on Dec 9, 09 10:54 PM