Actor Lillo Brancato Jr., 37 - best known for starring opposite Robert De Niro in the 1993 film, “A Bronx Tale,” and in 2000 for portraying a young gangster on TV’s “The Sopranos” - was paroled from prison on Dec. 31 after spending almost 10 years behind bars after being convicted of the first-degree attempted burglary in which his accomplice in the botched robbery killed an off-duty police officer.
The former “Sopranos” actor was freed “about six months early for meeting educational and disciplinary requirements, according to a statement by the Hudson Correctional Facility in New York,” according to CNN.
In 2005, police officer Daniel Enchautegui had just arrived at his Bronx, N.Y. home after work, when he heard a disturbance in the vacant house next door. When he went out to investigate, Enchautegui came across Brancato and his accomplice, Steven Armento.
Armento shot the off-duty officer in the chest. Enchautegui returned fire and shot both men multiple times. The officer was later pronounced dead at Jacobi Medical Center.
Brancato was originally charged with second-degree murder for his role in the burglary, and admitted during his trial that he was going through heroin withdrawal on the morning of the break-in, and broke into the house trying to score drugs.
Ultimately, the murder charge against Brancato was dropped.
Brancato’s accomplice, Steven Armento, was convicted of firing the fatal shot that killed Enchautegui. Armento was sentenced to prison for life without the possibility of parole.
"I should be really happy to be going home but in all actuality I'm not; I'm nervous & scared," Brancato posted on twitter on December 10.
For more on Brancato's arrest and time behind bars, see the video accompanying this article.
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