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Jul 29, 2009 1:50 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Pretrial hearings begin in Reister murder case

Jul 29, 2009 1:50 PM

Pre-trial hearings began Wednesday in the murder case against Anthony Oddone, the man accused of attacking Suffolk County corrections officer Andrew Reister at the Southampton Publick House nearly one year ago.

Mr. Reister, 40, of Hampton Bays died on August 9, 2008, from injuries he suffered two days earlier at the Publick House, where he was moonlighting as an ID checker. According to police and prosecutors, Mr. Oddone, 26, of Farmingville attacked Mr. Reister when he asked Mr. Oddone to get down from a table he was dancing on. Police said Mr. Oddone put Mr. Reister in a chokehold and would not let go, even after Mr. Reister passed out.

Mr. Oddone fled the scene in a cab but was apprehended minutes later, according to Southampton Village Police.

He was first arraigned on August 7, 2008, on felony assault charges in Southampton Village Justice Court. On August 20, he was arraigned again when a grand jury indictment was unsealed in Suffolk County Supreme Court in Riverside, charging him with second-degree murder.

Mr. Oddone has been held without bail at Rikers Island, a New York City Department of Corrections jail facility, while he is awaiting trial. He has been through at least five attorneys since his arrest.

Since July 1, he has been represented by Manhattan lawyer Sarita Kedia. Ms. Kedia would not identify who retained her to defend Mr. Oddone other than to say that his “supporters” did. She also refused to comment on Mr. Oddone’s disposition or her trial strategy.

Wednesday’s hearings, which were held before Justice C. Randall Hinrichs, were expected to be adjourned and continue today, July 30, according to Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.

There are two types of hearings taking place. The first, called a Wade hearing, concerns identification evidence, such as a police lineup, and the defense can challenge the fairness of the identification. The second, called a Huntley hearing, focuses on statements that prosecutors say a defendant made. At a Huntley hearing, the defense usually challenges the way police obtained statements.

Jury selection for the trial is tentatively slated to begin on September 28.

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