A state Supreme Court panel this week upheld the manslaughter conviction of a former golf caddie in the choking death of a Southampton Village pub bouncer but shortened his sentence by five years.
Four judges from the Appellate Division's Second Department affirmed Wednesday the first-degree manslaughter conviction of Anthony Oddone, who in 2008 choked to death Andrew Reister, a bouncer at the Publick House, a Southampton Village tavern.
"The defendant's contention that the people failed to disprove his justification defense beyond a reasonable doubt . . . is without merit," the judges wrote in denying Oddone's appeal for a new trial. "Upon reviewing the record here, we are satisfied that the verdict of guilt was not against the weight of the evidence."
At the same time, the judges reduced Oddone's sentence from 22 years to 17 "as a matter of discretion in the interest of justice."
The judges said Oddone's sentence as "imposed by the County Court, based upon the conviction of manslaughter in the first degree, was excessive."
Oddone's original sentence meant he would be eligible for release in 2027; he is now eligible for release in 2022.
Reister, an off-duty correction officer moonlighting as a bouncer, tried to get Oddone to stop dancing on a table on Aug. 6, 2008. The two got into a fight in which Oddone wrapped his arm around Reister's neck until the bouncer was unconscious and kept it there after they toppled to the ground. Reister died of cardiac arrest two days later.
In December 2009, a jury agreed with prosecutors who said Oddone, of Farmingville, choked Reister far longer than necessary in defending himself.