Page last updated at 11:29 GMT, Saturday, 10 January 2009

Sopranos star Brancato is jailed

Lillo Brancato
Mr Brancato says he was suffering from heroin withdrawal

Sopranos actor Lillo Brancato has been jailed for 10 years for his part in a 2005 burglary in which an accomplice shot dead an off-duty police officer.

The 32-year-old former star of the US TV series was cleared of second degree murder by a New York jury last month but convicted of attempted burglary.

Prosecutors said he and his accomplice had broken into an apartment in the city to steal prescription drugs.

Brancato played Matt Bevilaqua in the second series of the drama.

Brancato, who told the jury in his murder trial that he had been suffering from heroin withdrawal at the time, had asked the judge for mercy.

I'm talking about being a good son, brother, friend and citizen
Lillo Brancato to judge

"I'm not talking about redeeming my acting career," he said.

"I'm talking about much more than that. I'm talking about being a good son, brother, friend and citizen."

But Supreme Court Justice Martin Marcus said: "I cannot ignore the fact that, because of the burglary, a brave young police officer is dead."

He said Brancato's problems with drugs were "a sad story of good fortune and extraordinary opportunity that was wasted".

Police officer Daniel Enchautegui, 28, was shot when he went to investigate the burglary at the apartment next to his in the Bronx area of the city in December 2005.

Brancato told his murder trial jury he had not known that his accomplice, Steven Armento, the father of his ex-girlfriend, was armed.

Armento was convicted of first-degree murder in October and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Brancato found fame in the 1993 mobster film A Bronx Tale, in which he was the son of a bus driver, played by Robert De Niro.

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