Stacey Reister of Hampton Bays turned to Anthony Oddone in a Riverhead courtroom Wednesday and showed him a photograph of her two young children - just before the Farmingville man was sentenced to 22 years in prison for choking her husband, Andrew, to death.
"This is who you screwed up. This is what you did," Reister said angrily as six court officers hovered over her and Oddone. "I had every opportunity to take you out. I wanted to wrap my arm around you the way you did to my husband. . . . But I have self-control."
"Aren't they cute?" she said moments later of the children, ages 6 and 10, when she showed Oddone the photo again. Then she dropped the picture on the table where he was sitting.
Oddone, 27, faced a maximum 25-year sentence for a first-degree manslaughter conviction in the death of Andrew Reister, 40, a Suffolk correction officer. Reister was moonlighting as a bouncer at the Southampton Publick House on Aug. 7, 2008, when Oddone held him in a chokehold after Reister ordered him to stop dancing on tables.
Reister died two days later at Stony Brook University Medical Center.
Spectators in the fourth-floor courtroom, packed with relatives of Reister and Oddone and dozens of uniformed correction officers, began to react as State Supreme Court Justice C. Randall Hinrichs pronounced sentence. They were quickly hushed by court officers.
Oddone's mother, Laura Oddone, walked past reporters without speaking. Sarita Kedia of Manhattan, Oddone's attorney, declined to comment.
In court, Kedia said Oddone was "terribly, terribly remorseful" about Reister's death.
"He wasn't looking for trouble. He didn't have malice in his heart," Kedia said. "Anthony Oddone still remains a decent, good individual who has a lot, a lot of potential."
Prosecutor Denise Merrifield painted a different picture of Oddone, calling him "an arrogant, violent, self-centered" man. Oddone, she said, once tossed furniture from a bar in upstate Cobleskill "because he was upset about the outcome of a Yankees-Red Sox game."
Hinrichs said he had received "countless letters" from supporters of Reister and Oddone. He said Oddone "must be punished severely."
"The magnitude of the loss here is incalculable," he said.
Stacey Reister gave two thumbs-up signs as she left the courtroom to applause. With correction officers standing behind her, she said the sentence did not disappoint her.
"I'm thrilled," she said. "Twenty-two years is a good number. I'll take it."
In a 30-minute statement in court, she confronted Oddone.
"You can look at me. It's OK," she said. "I'm not going to hurt you."
Oddone sometimes looked down, then looked at Reister and blinked.
Andrew Reister was a Little League coach and blood donor whose donated organs saved more than 100 people, Stacey Reister said. She said her husband loved golf and played in charity memorial tournaments.
"How ironic is that, because now we have memorial tournaments for him," she said.
She said she and her children received a life sentence when her husband died. Toward the end of her statement, the diminutive Reister told Oddone it was "time to grow up."
"I may be short," she said to the judge, "but I stand a lot taller than he does."