Mr. Oddone pleaded not guilty to a single felony count of first-degree manslaughter Thursday afternoon, sending his case back to square one nearly six years after the barroom brawl that left Mr. Reister dead.
Judge Hinrichs ordered that Mr. Oddone’s prior bail conditions be continued, meaning that the 32-year-old will remain free on $500,000 cash bail.
The judge also agreed to allow Mr. Oddone to travel freely within the five boroughs of New York City—he currently lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan—as well as to upstate Orange County, where his mother and grandmother live. He can also visit Suffolk County for court dates.
Judge Hinrichs denied a request that Mr. Oddone be allowed to travel freely within the state, but said he would consider granting permission for work-related trips.
Assistant District Attorney Denise Merrifield called Mr. Oddone a “substantial flight risk” and said she opposed the additional travel privileges. After the proceedings, she said she would not comment on the case while it is pending.
Mr. Oddone, accompanied only by his attorneys, also declined to comment after the proceedings. He wore a blue button down shirt and tie, and appeared calm in the courtroom.
After the arraignment, Mr. Reister’s father, George, who attended the proceedings along with his wife and other family members, said he was “not happy,” and added that he felt money had played a role in the outcome of the case up until that point.
“It’s obvious what’s going on,” George Reister said, though he declined to elaborate further.
Sarita Kedia, Mr. Oddone’s attorney, said the arraignment had proceeded as she expected.
“He’s got a job and he is in school and he’s getting his life back together,” she said, of Mr. Oddone, who is due back in court for a conference on Wednesday, February 19.
Anthony Oddone, the upstate man whose murder conviction in the 2008 killing of Southampton native Andrew Reister was overturned in December, is expected to plead not guilty to a new indictment on Thursday, according to his attorney.
On Monday, Sarita Kedia confirmed that Mr. Oddone would be in Suffolk County Criminal Court in Riverside on Thursday, February 6, before State Supreme Court Justice C. Randall Hinrichs, who presided over Mr. Oddone’s 2009 trial. Ms. Kedia declined to comment further on the upcoming proceedings.
A grand jury has likely been convened—for the second time—to consider whether there is enough evidence to again charge Mr. Oddone with felony first-degree manslaughter, or lesser charges. All aspects of grand jury proceedings are secret by law until an individual has been arraigned on the charges, at which time the grand jury indictment may be unsealed.
Mr. Oddone had served more than five years of a 17-year sentence when he was released after supporters posted $500,000 cash bail two days before Christmas. He was allowed to post bail after the state’s Court of Appeals threw out his manslaughter conviction in December after ruling that Justice Hinrichs refused to allow the defense during the original trial to provide information to a witness to “refresh her … recollection” about the duration of the bar fight that left Mr. Reister, who was working as a bouncer at the Southampton Publick House, dead.
Should he be convicted again of the top first-degree manslaughter charge, Mr. Oddone would face a maximum of nine years in jail, according to Marc Wolinsky, the attorney who handled Mr. Oddone’s appeals.
In December 2009, a jury convicted the now 32-year-old of felony manslaughter for killing Mr. Reister, 40, a Suffolk County Corrections Officer who worked as a bouncer at night, during a fight at the Southampton Publick House in 2008. Police said Mr. Oddone held Mr. Reister in a headlock until he lost consciousness. Mr. Reister died three days later.
The jury acquitted Mr. Oddone of second-degree murder, which would have carried with it a possible life sentence.