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Dec 1, 2009 5:34 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Second juror dismissed at Oddone murder trial

Dec 1, 2009 5:34 PM

The judge in the Anthony Oddone murder trial has dismissed a second juror after saying he had received a phone call at the conclusion of testimony last week in which a juror raised “a matter of concern.”

Suffolk County Court Judge C. Randall Hinrichs did not specify on Monday the reasons he dismissed the juror after spending a total of two hours interviewing jurors behind closed doors in chambers. It is the second dismissal of a juror: On November 18, before the start of testimony, Juror 12 was dismissed after he told other jurors that his wife had been clipping stories about the trial out of local newspapers. Jurors are prohibited from reading about the cases they are hearing during the trial.

Juror 10, a middle-aged Caucasian woman, was dismissed by Judge Hinrichs on Monday and replaced with an alternate juror, a young African-American man.

Mr. Oddone, 26, of Farmingville, stands accused of murdering Southampton native Andrew Reister in a fight at the Southampton Publick House in August 2008. He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the charge of second-degree murder.

When court recessed on Wednesday, November 25, after defense attorney Sarita Kedia rested her case, Judge Hinrichs told the jury they would not be required to appear in court until Tuesday, December 1, when the two attorneys would give their closing arguments. But in the wake of the issue raised by the juror after court had recessed for the holiday last week, the entire jury was called back into the courtroom Monday morning and were told that they would be interviewed individually in the judge’s chambers.

The judge said he received a call from one of the jurors late last Wednesday. The judge did not discuss the nature of the issue raised by the juror but said that immediately afterward he held a conference call with Ms. Kedia and Assistant District Attorney Denise Merrifield. Following the dismissal of Juror 10 and the seating of the alternate, the court resumed, and it is still expected that both sides will give closing arguments tomorrow, and the jury could begin deliberations by midweek.

On Monday, the two sides conferenced with the judge regarding the possibility that new, lesser charges will be introduced as options for the jury before it begins deliberating. The prosecution opted for a case that intended to prove that Mr. Oddone had intentionally killed Mr. Reister when he held him in a choke hold during the altercation last year. Veteran defense attorneys have said it is likely that a number of lesser charges—including first-degree manslaughter, a felony that carries a prison sentence of seven to 10 years, or possibly even misdemeanor charges of accidental killing, which could result in no jail time—will be included in the jury’s instructions, giving them other options than simply guilty or not guilty of second-degree murder.

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Thanks for the timely and quick update Michael.

Newsday has nothing on this BTW.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 30, 09 2:04 PM
Now let the irrationality begin!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Nov 30, 09 4:51 PM
2 members liked this comment
Yes, now the Publick House 2009 opens for rational comment without emotion.

The Looking Glass will reflect the past violence with further commentary, Alice and Toto.

"Peace on Earth" begins within your own heart!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Nov 30, 09 6:45 PM
§ 270.35. Trial jury; discharge of juror; replacement by alternate juror

1. If at any time after the trial jury has been sworn and before the rendition of its verdict, a juror is unable to continue serving by reason of illness or other incapacity, or for any other reason is unavailable for continued service, or the court finds, from facts unknown at the time of the selection of the jury, that a juror is grossly unqualified to serve in the case or has engaged in misconduct of a substantial ...more
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Nov 30, 09 7:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
A defendant has a constitutional right to a trial by a "particular jury chosen according to law, in whose selection [the defendant] has had a voice" ( People v Ivery, 96 AD2d 712; People v West, 92 AD2d 620, 622 [Mahoney, P. J., dissenting], revd on dissenting opn below 62 NY2d 708; see, NY Const, art I, § 2). To protect this constitutional right in criminal cases, the Legislature has enacted several procedural safeguards (see, CPL art 270). Under the statutory scheme, "[if] at any time after the ...more
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Nov 30, 09 7:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
So this means they are down to two alternate jurors.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Nov 30, 09 11:05 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Disgusted (45), Sag Harbor on Nov 30, 09 11:15 PM
Well they're still out there ... circling.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Nov 30, 09 11:34 PM
i have a question about the article. it states"Juror 10, a middle-aged Caucasian woman, was dismissed by Judge Hinrichs on Monday and replaced with an alternate juror, a young African-American man. Now i must tell you that i am relieved to hear that he replaced a "caucasian with an "american" and not the other way around. can you imagine if the replaced a caucasian american with and african? now that would just be racist speak, but it would give the angry locals someone to blame tomorrow.
By username1 (32), bay shore on Dec 1, 09 8:19 AM
Doesn't seem as if you have a question, so much as a point to make.

And that point would be . . . . what? (Hope it's relevant.)
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Dec 1, 09 9:27 AM
Better watch out, usernme1, Frank "the thought police" Wheeler is unhappy with your posting.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Dec 1, 09 9:42 AM
Northampton? LOL... thats riverhead by Wildwood bowl and that burned ot gas station right? are you a wanna be hampton guy? is that an afro i see in your silouett disguise pic? are those questions relevant Frank?
By username1 (32), bay shore on Dec 1, 09 10:02 AM
Yeah, Ye Olde Wildewoodie -- and yeah, there's an abandoned gasoline station in the area. What's your point? (See, THAT was a question.)

Even though it's close to Riverhead, Northampton IS part of Southampton Town.

Don't bother much about "fcmcmann," she's given up on posting anything substantive, just likes stalking me. Kind of an inverted passion.

So, I'll ask again: what was the point your were attempting in your previous post.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Dec 1, 09 10:18 AM
Frank, it would appear that you believe that everyone posting on these boards is answerable to you, but no one notified me of your authority. At any rate, keep policing the boards!
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Dec 1, 09 12:22 PM
The dueling continues --- on guard !
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Dec 1, 09 10:29 AM
No duel -- fcmcmann would be out-mcmanned anyhow.

I'm jsut attempting to find out why US1 is attempting to introduce race into this matter. What's the relevance?
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Dec 1, 09 10:34 AM
Riverhead bro! i feel ya "frank". lets grab a 40 and chill, you smoove
By username1 (32), bay shore on Dec 1, 09 10:36 AM
1 member liked this comment
It has been a common practice for the Court to make inquiries of a juror in secret when that juror's qualifications to continue as a sitting juror is challenged.

However, given the First Amendment right of the press to have access to the trial, and the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a public jury trial, shouldn't such inquiries be public, or at the very least shouldn't the judge place on the record in public the compelling interest that requires the exclusion of the public and the ...more
By Publius (358), Westhampton Beach on Dec 1, 09 12:08 PM
2 members liked this comment
yes, in secret was interrogated and she revealed she may be capable of independent thought, thus the last stronghold of those above the law released her in his latest attempt to control the verdict and protect the home team at the cost of justice.
By username1 (32), bay shore on Dec 1, 09 12:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
Keep beating that drum. " It couldn't have been my dear Tony, he is being set up by everybody in the entire system." That is a hell of a conspiracy theory, good luck with it.

There is something to be said for accountability, which Tony's friends seem to not possess. Your buddy is not being "set up" by the government, you know. He killed a man in a bar fight. The police did not pull over his cab that night and say, "hey lets fabricate a story to screw this kid." HE KILLED A MAN IN A ...more
By AlwaysLocal (292), southampton on Dec 2, 09 1:56 AM
You have no idea how accurate you are with what happened to #10
By mflgs (7), long island on Dec 2, 09 12:19 PM
yes yes, just one implanted juror with those wonderful small tight-knit community values to keep weeding out any free thinking threats.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Dec 1, 09 2:29 PM
Why was juror #10 released without an explanation? Could it be that the jury has already determined their decision before getting closing arguments and final instructions and that #10 wasn't "with" the rest of the jurors?
By mflgs (7), long island on Dec 2, 09 9:48 AM