Sopranos’ Actor Cleared of Cop Killing

Today was a good day for Lillo BrancatoThe Sopranos actor, who played an aspiring mobster on the HBO drama, was cleared of second-degree murder in the shooting death of an off-duty police officer.

The actor and his accomplice Steven Armento broke into a Bronx basement apartment in search of prescription drugs back in Dec. 2005 after a night of drinking at a strip club. Officer Daniel Enchautegui, 28, came over to investigate the disturbance when Armento shot him in the heart with a .357 magnum.

Armento was convicted of first-degree murder and given a life sentence without parole, while Brancato was convicted of attempted burglary. Although he faces a minimum three-year sentence, he could get credit for time served, since he has been behind bars since the arrest.

“There was never going to be smiles,” his defense laywer Joseph Tacopina told the Associated Press. “This is not a case that warrants that.”

Lillo found fame in 1993 with A Bronx Tale alongside Robert DeNiro and later with his recurring role as Matt Bevilaqua on The Sopranos.

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