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Dec 4, 2009 2:48 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Jury deliberations continue in Oddone murder trial

Dec 4, 2009 2:48 PM

The jury in the Anthony Oddone murder trial continues deliberations today—the defendant’s 27th birthday—and it is unclear if jurors will render a verdict before the weekend.

Jurors may declare Mr. Oddone innocent or may find him guilty of second-degree murder, or of a less serious charge, related to the death of Andrew Reister of Hampton Bays.

The two men had an altercation at the Southampton Publick House in August 2008 after Mr. Reister, an off-duty corrections officer who was moonlighting as a bouncer, 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 died two days later, having never regained consciousness.

Mr. Oddone was 25 at the time of the struggle at the Publick House. Mr. Reister was 40.

Defense attorney Sarita Kedia has maintained that Mr. Oddone was defending himself from an attack by a much larger man. The prosecution charged him with intentionally causing the death of Mr. Reister, but several lesser charges are also options available to the jury.

At around 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, the jury asked Judge C. Randall Hinrichs to repeat instructions related to “justification,” the legal term that means acting in self-defense. Jurors also asked to hear the 911 tape again—it was played for the first time in court during the prosecution’s closing argument on Wednesday—and to review some of the photos submitted into evidence.

The photos were of the tap room and bar at the Publick House, as well as photos taken on the camera of Mr. Oddone’s friend who was with him that night. A contact sheet shows the time each photo was taken.

Ms. Kedia maintains that the photo times are not accurate. She said the jury members should be asked if they want the testimony that talks about the discrepancy in the time stamp and what the detective “understood” to be the real times the photos were taken.

Ms. Kedia objected to some of the photos that show items on the ground that belonged to Mr. Reister, but those are close-ups and not photos of the room in general, which seems to be what the jury was asking for.

The jury also asked to again hear the song that witnesses said was playing at the time of the incident, “Calabria 2007 (club mix)” by Enur, which was used by some witnesses to estimate the length of time Mr. Oddone held Mr. Reister in a choke hold. The judge agreed and sent a CD player into the jury room with a compact disc.

Before ending Thursday’s deliberations, the jury asked to review several of the medical documents in the case, including records from both Southampton Hospital and Stony Brook University Hospital, related to Mr. Reister’s injuries, which proved fatal. They also sought a copy of the report from Mr. Reister’s autopsy.

Judge Hinrichs agreed to all the requests, except the autopsy report. “That was marked for identification but not received, so that is not something you can have in the jury deliberation room,” he said. It had never been entered into evidence.

After releasing the jury back to the deliberation room, Judge Hinrichs asked to speak with both attorneys, “off the record,” in his chambers.

The jury was dismissed at 6:30 p.m. and continued deliberations Friday morning.

On both Thursday and Friday, the jury asked Judge Hinrichs to read the criteria of all the charges, with “emphasis on intent and justification.”

The jury on Friday also asked for copies of three articles from medical journals that defense attorney Sarita Kedia had submitted during her cross examination of the county medical examiner. One had to do with causes of hemorrhages around the eyes, and the other two were related to law enforcement’s use of choke holds. But the judge denied the request, since those articles were never submitted as evidence in the case, only for identification.

Based on reporting by staff writer Michael Wright and web editor Brendan O’Reilly

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autopsy not entered as evidence? why do you think? articles submitted and requested by jury refused by judge? why do you think? all helpful for fair asessment for jury to explain reasons other than that alleged by DA's office. all reasonable requests that would aid the jury have been refused? Hmmmm...
By username1 (32), bay shore on Dec 4, 09 3:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
There is a discussion of this issue in the comments on the most recent story, "Jury Now Deliberating..." the link to which is listed above.

A couple of commenters who seem to have a legal background have provided some explanation.
By Joseph Shaw, Executive Editor (206), Hampton Bays on Dec 4, 09 3:37 PM
Apologies--it's actually in the "Defense Seeks Mistrial" story...
By Joseph Shaw, Executive Editor (206), Hampton Bays on Dec 4, 09 3:40 PM
What might appear as reasonable to us, might in fact not be to the judge. These request by the jury may be redundant or irrelevant. The judge will not jeopardize the trial over legitimate jury request.
By pjcd (24), Smithtown on Dec 5, 09 11:21 AM

Some items were never admitted into evidence, although they had been given evidence numbers solely for identification purposes. There are many innocent reasons why both the prosecution and defense could have decided NOT to enter certain items into evidence. See Joe Shaw's comments above, and the the comments in the "Defense Seeks Mistrial" story.

After reading those previous comments, if you still feel "Hmmmmm" is needed, please advise. No hanky panky in my opinion. ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Dec 4, 09 3:48 PM
PS -- Most items not entered into evidence WERE discussed by a witness, so the jury knows something about them. The jury is not missing the basic information, just the chance to look at a particular physical item. As one of the posters said under the other article, the autopsy report may not have been admissible because it is hearsay evidence. This gets into more complicated rules of evidence -- suffice it so say that the jury DOES have the information of what was in the autopsy, because a witness ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Dec 4, 09 4:33 PM
thank you PBR. well, i guess the hmmmmm remains because it is difficult to find more than 1 reason why the DA would have a wittness give their "opinion" about an autopsy report then prevent the jury from seeing the actual report so they can form their opion. well golly shucks, i may not be a smart as those big city lawyers from riverhead, but i think the autopsy is something that is important in a murder trial. unless it doesn't tell your story and supports the defense. of course this just an ...more
By username1 (32), bay shore on Dec 4, 09 6:56 PM
You seem to suggest that there is something in the Medical Examiner's autopsy report that you would have liked to have in evidence before the jury.

If there was anything in that report that was inconsistent with the ME's testimony, then it was admissible unless he admitted to those facts on cross examination.

Frankly, I have never seen a medical examiner testify in a manner that was inconsistent with his own report, but maybe something new happened here.

Are you saying ...more
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 4, 09 9:29 PM
Jury will be back at it Monday morning. No verdict today!
By FOTO (36), Lake Grove on Dec 4, 09 7:11 PM
Thank you FOTO.
A very long weekend for everyone involved.
By wondering (63), Southampton on Dec 5, 09 4:21 AM
Did we get at least 24 hours of decorum in?
By wondering (63), Southampton on Dec 5, 09 9:40 AM
1 member liked this comment

I just appreciate the effort!
By Joseph Shaw, Executive Editor (206), Hampton Bays on Dec 5, 09 10:57 AM
Some people are so hard to understand. defending ones self in a bar fight is now murder? it is the publick house that should be on trail for muder as they employed a sick man with many ailments to work in the position of bouncer.
By shamrock (22), brooklyn on Dec 5, 09 10:37 AM
2 members liked this comment
Defending one self in a bar fight?? Its obvious that you think once a fight in a bar breaks out, anything is fair game and that defending yourself is an excuse to commit murder. Lady your a piece of work. Defending yourself with deadly physical force in that situation is murder.
By pjcd (24), Smithtown on Dec 5, 09 11:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
do not forget to mention that corrections officers have "mental" problems also, such as inflated egos, god complexes, etc etc.
By big (14), sag harbor on Dec 6, 09 7:41 PM
Sorry for the delay in updating this info, folks...

As noted by FOTO above, the jury was sent home about 6:30 last night for the weekend. Its members will resume deliberations on Monday morning at 9:15.
By Joseph Shaw, Executive Editor (206), Hampton Bays on Dec 5, 09 10:56 AM
Yes Shamrock. a perfectly clear case of SELF DEFENSE against an agressive attack from an HUGE physically unfit, moonlighting in a bar, untrained, wannabe bouncer as the evidence suggests. Certainly a very sad accidental death which has destroyed many lives on both sides and never should have happened, but not a crime unless you consider the original unprovoked assault and the manipulation of the system to place blame and the repeated abuse of their captive. Dont mind Frank Wheeler. he's just mentally ...more
Dec 5, 09 11:44 AM appended by username1
sincere apology to Frank Wheeler. your name was mentioned in error. please accept this correction.
By username1 (32), bay shore on Dec 5, 09 11:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
So now your implying the bouncer was intoxicated, "certainly not the blood alchohol level of anyone involved another curiously missing autopsy fact". The bouncer's job is to maintain order, Oddone was disrupting order.

Oh and by the way, this is not, I repeat NOT a sad accidental death. Oddone was at the least an out of control individual who would not stop his actions even at the bequest of bystanders who at one point tried physically to restrain him, accident, not hardly,
By pjcd (24), Smithtown on Dec 5, 09 12:07 PM
Didn't anyone ever teach you that it's better to be silent and let people think your ..... than to speak (or type) and remove any doubt.
Your comments towards a man who can no longer hug his wife and children are pathetic. Perhaps you could ponder x-mas morning at his home in a couple of weeks.
By double-D (96), southampton on Dec 5, 09 1:29 PM
boo hoo
By big (14), sag harbor on Dec 6, 09 7:42 PM
Username1- Have you ever been to the public house? It is a mellow place where there has always been one or two easy-going mellow guys that look out for things. They don't draw the type of crowd that needs anything more. Calling Andrew a "HUGE physically unfit, moonlighting in a bar, untrained, wannabe bouncer" is so far out of line.
However, if he was so physically unfit- why was Oddone then so threatened that he had to choke hold him for almost three minutes even after that big unfit body ...more
By LocalTeacher (23), Southampton on Dec 5, 09 12:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
Username1- You really have no clue do you?
By favaunt (24), Sag Harbor on Dec 5, 09 1:34 PM
To username1:

Accepting, for the sake of argument, that this incident involved, "an agressive attack from an (sic) HUGE physically unfit, moonlighting in a bar, untrained, wannabe bouncer", as you say, Oddone's killing of Reister is still a criminal act. Self-defense could be argued right up to the point at which Reister was incapacitated. After that point, something other than self-defense is going on.

The jury is being called on to decide what that something in Oddone's mind ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Dec 5, 09 1:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
it was most unfortunately probably alcohol in his mind
By big (14), sag harbor on Dec 6, 09 7:44 PM
Trying to anticipate any verdict is folly in my opinion. One can argue the testimony until blue in the face -- for both "sides." Yet, the perception of two "sides" here is an uninformed and short-sided one IMO. Justice (the one real "side" -- to stretch that term) will prevail, at least the best justice that humankind has come up with so far.

Juries can surprise.

Fasten seatbelts.

Pray for closure and Peace for ALL family members. The power to forgive is a powerful thing.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Dec 5, 09 3:18 PM
You know what.... the two families involved in this got along better waiting for the verdict than you guys on this board.

You guys are wasting your time on here... why don't you go to the Publick House tonight.
By Disgusted (45), Sag Harbor on Dec 5, 09 4:15 PM
I love that you wrote this! This is so true and if these 2 families can be pleasant to one another in the midst of these trying times then we have no business arguing on here.
By FOTO (36), Lake Grove on Dec 5, 09 9:30 PM
The problem I have with this case is which DA is prosecuting this case. Frankly, I have no faith in the Suffolk DA to give anyone a fair trial.

I believe that it is a practice of the DA in some cases to compromise a jury. It doesn't matter if the DA is Henry, Catterson, or Spota. Except with Spota it has only gotten worse.

I believe the defense lawyer was wise to scrutinize the jury, and to ask the judge to have the blogger that said he knew the jury was compromised to be identified.

We ...more
By THE EQUALIZER (62), JERICHO on Dec 5, 09 9:02 PM
Thats some tail of woe,

would you like a soap box to stand on.
By pjcd (24), Smithtown on Dec 5, 09 11:18 PM
If the above poster is referring to my post above, I will tell you that all I said in that post is ON THE RECORD.

I don't really have a clue as to the culpability of Oddone. He may be as guilty as sin. I just don't think so.

What I do know is the SCDA and SCPD cannot be trusted to give this man a fair trial.

The Southampton cop changes his opinion about Oddone being intoxicated from his initial booking report? Please, this is classic SCPD and DA bullshyte. They just ...more
By THE EQUALIZER (62), JERICHO on Dec 6, 09 8:31 PM
Blaming the victim, blaming the jury, blaming the politicians. Enough. For those of you who are friends with, and still communicate with Anthony Oddone, I really hope you're not feeding him all this garbage. A supportive friend would not make excuses and defame the deceased man in the name of the man who killed him! A true friend would encourage Oddone to take responsibility for his actions. To appologize to the Reister family. To serve his time in prison with remorse, and -Oh My God: Dignity. You ...more
By maryb123 (84), east hampton on Dec 6, 09 10:33 PM
Save your breath, Maryb, there is no reasoning with these people. I've given up on arguing with them, all I can hope for now is a swift and just verdict which will result in two benefits. 1- Oddone rot's in jail for a long time, before he rots in hell for eternity. and 2- The still mourning members of this town will not be subject to the ridiculous and offensive statements of his friends on this blog.

I cannot even fathom how Mr. oddone's friends think it is helpful to scream about injustice ...more
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on Dec 7, 09 5:57 AM
MARYB and ALWAYS LOCAL: I promise you that Tony's real friends are not the ones writing all this crazy nonsense on this board. His real supporters are the people in the court room with him, who will support him no matter what, and dont waste time writing nonsense on this board. I feel sorry that you have to hate others and hope they rot in hell. I undderstand your anger but nothing Oddone does will ever bring back Mr. Reister unfortunately. Im not telling you to forgive him but him and his ...more
By friend4life (17), Ronkonkoma on Dec 7, 09 8:11 AM
2 members liked this comment
Oh poor Tony and his family. He had to suffer the indignity of standing trial after choking to death a good, hard-working, decent man. U guys love to portray him as the victim and seem bolstered by a bad jury but u will get urs.
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Dec 7, 09 8:35 AM
Mr. Oddone, chose to drink, chose to get on the table, chose not to listen to security in a private establishment, chose to put his hands/arm around the neck of security, chose not to let go.. murder ,second degree... as opposed to millions of people who that night chose not do drink, not to get up on a table, not to strangle anyone... regardless of what Mr. Oddone was FEELLING.. he chose behaviors and now needs to pay the consequences of his chosen behaviors....
By grimag (38), southampton on Dec 7, 09 8:41 AM
Peace on Earth starts here.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Dec 7, 09 10:13 AM
HB4LIFE: We will get ours? I never once said any of the things you are talking about, sorry that you feel that way.
By friend4life (17), Ronkonkoma on Dec 7, 09 10:34 AM
Friend4life, it's unfortunate when you try to explain something it is either twisted or falls on deaf ears. Although Anthony may be found guilty, it is clear you will be there for him as his friend which I commend you for. I would bet my house that if any other poster on here had a friend in a similar situation, they would feel the same way. I know I have just opened myself up to the "the friends I hang with would never do this" defense, but unfortunately, it only takes a split second for something ...more
By SHres (18), Sag Harbor on Dec 7, 09 10:50 AM
There are many note worthy comments argued on both sides and many not worth the time it took to type them. The fact is two families will suffer for a very long time. The difference is Oddone made a conscious decision that night to take another mans life over some perceived injustice perpetrated upon him, now he will have to deal with the consequences.
By pjcd (24), Smithtown on Dec 7, 09 10:41 AM
No matter what the Jury decides neither Family will ever be the same.
By lifesaver (118), speonk on Dec 7, 09 11:45 AM
the jury has asked for the charges to be reread with the focus on intent.
By friend4life (17), Ronkonkoma on Dec 7, 09 11:49 AM
SOUTHAMPTON PRESS STAFF: Is the trial going on today? Could we please get updates?
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Dec 7, 09 11:49 AM

You state Oddone made
"a concious decision that night to take another's man's life".
That would be murder.

Isn't that what the jury is deliberating? What charge( if any) he's guilty of?

Amazing how they could be present and attentive in the courtroom every day for 2 months, yet be agonizing over what exactly happened that night, and just what Oddones intentions were, and be now deliberating now for nearly a week.....
Yet you've already decided based on ...more
By open mind (18), southampton on Dec 7, 09 11:59 AM
3 members liked this comment
His intentions were clear to anyone paying attention. Unless of course you have some insight into his mental condition? When somebody chokes somebody for two to three minutes and while doing so has bystanders attempt to stop him unsuccessfully, yes, to me that shows clear intent. His strategy of self defense is ludicrous.
By all witness accounts this was not a fight for survival, at most a shoving match that apparently bruised Oddone's ego to the extent of rage, what other explanation is there?
By pjcd (24), Smithtown on Dec 7, 09 1:00 PM
I guess you are now going to say is that when Oddone left his home that night he knew he was going to jump up on the table and then be engaged in a scuffle with Mr.Reister. He also knew that if he was taken down from the table that he would choke the man to death.
By THE EQUALIZER (62), JERICHO on Dec 7, 09 4:40 PM
i have a feeling we will see a verdict within the next day or two.
By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Dec 7, 09 1:08 PM
Southampton Press Once Again Asleep at the Wheel: We will have to what for Tony's dirtball friends to update this news story.
By HB 4 Life (72), Hampton Bays on Dec 7, 09 1:21 PM

I have no insight to his mental condition.
So it's "clear" to you what his intentions were.

Evidently it's not so clear to some, one, or all of the jurors.
and they listened to two months of testimony and evidence.
Can you honestly say you have more information than the jurors on this case?
......Or just more of an opinion.

I doubt it's really clear to anyone who witnessed the incident what ACTUALLY happened that night.
Doesn't make it any less ...more
By open mind (18), southampton on Dec 7, 09 1:23 PM

Doesn't make it any less a tragedy.
However, we do have a justice system which seems to functioning pretty well, albeit at a pace that's causing a bit of impatience.

I'll agree to that.
By pjcd (24), Smithtown on Dec 7, 09 1:39 PM
HB 4 Life, here is an update. if for any reason there is a doubt, they must acquit. and this just in... you are a jack ass. signed, dirtball
By username1 (32), bay shore on Dec 7, 09 1:42 PM
It's posts like that which makes a person's true colors apparent. Very classy and good to know you two are in the same company now!
By SHres (18), Sag Harbor on Dec 7, 09 3:32 PM
Perhaps Usernames1 should stay off the 27east blog and post her "remarks" on some Bay Shore's newspaper blog.
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Dec 8, 09 6:18 PM