Anthony Oddone, whose manslaughter conviction in the choking death of a Southampton bar bouncer was overturned this month, will spend the holidays at home after he was released on bail Monday in advance of his new trial.
The 31-year-old was freed on $500,000 bail as he awaits a re-trial on manslaughter charges stemming from the fatal Aug. 7, 2008 bar fight in which off-duty Suffolk County Corrections Officer Andrew Reister, moonlighting as a bouncer at Southampton Publick House, was left brain dead, dying two days later.
The fight started when Oddone and a woman were dancing on a table top and he refused Reister’s request to get down. A year later, Oddone was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced in April 2010.
But, earlier this month, a New York State Appellate Court overturned the verdict and ordered a new trial.
At issue was the court’s refusal to allow the defense to refresh the recollection of a witness, Megan Flynn, who had told an insurance company investigator that the duration of the fight she witnessed lasted “maybe 6 to 10 seconds.” Flynn, a waitress at the bar, testified that what she observed could have lasted longer.
“I didn’t have a watch,” she said, according to court documents. “I wasn’t keeping track of time. But it could have been a minute or so. I don’t know.”
Oddone’s attorneys tried to show Flynn her previous statement to “refresh her recollection” in court but the judge ruled that she had “given no indication she needs her memory refreshed,” according to court documents.
“We agree with defendant that the restriction placed on his questioning of Flynn was error requiring new trial,” the appeals court wrote in its unanimous decision.
Oddone is scheduled to appear back in court Feb. 5.