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Oddone jury early on decided against murder conviction

Anthony Oddone was found guilty of manslaughter after

Anthony Oddone was found guilty of manslaughter after a seven-week trial. Photo Credit: Facebook.com / Undated

In the first few days of deliberations, the jurors deciding Anthony Oddone's fate agreed they could not convict him of second-degree murder.

But it took about seven more days to unanimously decide that Oddone was guilty of first-degree manslaughter, jurors said Monday night.

>> PHOTOS: Anthony Oddone's case and Andrew Reister's funeral

>>MORE: Newsday's coverage of Anthony Oddone's trial

The jurors were split 6-6, and later 8-4, but as of late last week and most of Monday, it was a matter of convincing one woman that Oddone was guilty of first-degree manslaughter, meaning that he intended to cause serious physical injury and caused death.

"We had to convince her that he demonstrated his intent to cause physical harm," said juror Stephen Garvey, 61, of Northport, referring to Oddone's chokehold on Andrew Reister, a bouncer at the Southampton Publick House who directed Oddone to get down from dancing on a table in August 2008.

"She was very stubborn," he said.

Garvey said there was some arguing, which he characterized as "respectful disagreement." The retired Long Island Rail Road worker said he was among a few who originally believed Oddone was guilty of murder.

Juror Ulysses Kitovas, 31, of East Northport, said he was surprised the defense didn't offer more witnesses.

Going to Riverhead every day for the 2-month-long trial, with some days lasting 12 hours, was difficult, he said.

"This experience has made me never want to be on a jury ever again," said Kitovas, a hospital plumbing foreman.

For the most part, the group of seven men and five women became friendly, Garvey said, with plans for a reunion: "We made a list of e-mail addresses so we could stay in contact."

>> PHOTOS: Anthony Oddone's case and Andrew Reister's funeral

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