RIIVERHEAD - A Farmingville man who was convicted in the death of an off-duty Suffolk County corrections officer was freed on bail today as he awaits a new trial.
Anthony Oddone walked out of Suffolk County Criminal Court this afternoon to cheers from his relatives after an unnamed supporter posted $500,000 cash bail for him. He said he was thankful for the support he's received before a white SUV whisked him away.
Oddone had been behind bars since 2008 on a manslaughter conviction for the death of officer Andrew Reister, who had been moonlighting as a bouncer at the Southampton Publick House when he was killed.
Prosecutors had claimed that Oddone choked Reister to death during a bar brawl. Oddone was found guilty in Reister's death, but an appeals court overturned the verdict earlier this year on a technicality.
In court today, prosecutors argued that Oddone has a long criminal history and has been deemed an extreme flight risk in the past by probation officers. The district attorney's office had asked for $5 million cash bail or $15 million bond because of Oddone's tendency to run from the law.
Oddone's attorneys disputed that he's a flight risk. The judge set bail at $500,000 cash or $1 million bond because Oddone does not have a valid passport.
Oddone is still facing manslaughter charges, which carry up to 17 years behind bars if he's found guilty again. His attorneys say he'll be staying with his mother in upstate Orange County while the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office prepares the new case.
Oddone must appear in court in February for a hearing.
Riester's family packed half of the courtroom today for the proceeding, but the family declined to speak to the media afterward.