Page last updated at 11:05 GMT, Sunday, 21 September 2008 12:05 UK

Murder trial for Sopranos actor

Lillo Brancato Jr
Lillo Brancato Jr is due to go on trial on 28 October

Sopranos actor Lillo Brancato Jr will go on trial next month charged with the murder of an off-duty police officer shot dead in New York in 2005.

A judge has ruled that the actor, who played Matt Bevilaqua in the drama's second series, will be tried separately from co-defendant Steven Armento.

The two men were allegedly carrying out a burglary at the time of the killing.

Mr Armento is accused of firing the fatal shot. Mr Brancato, 32, says he did not know Mr Armento had a gun.

Prosecutors had wanted the two of them tried together.

They say that, on 10 December, the two defendants broke into an apartment in search of prescription drugs after visiting a strip club together.

They were then confronted by off-duty officer Daniel Enchautegui who was killed in an alley after a shoot-out, prosecutors add.

Mr Brancato made his screen debut opposite Robert De Niro in 1993's A Bronx Tale and appeared in a number of other films before appearing in The Sopranos.

Mr Armento will go on trial on 29 September while Mr Brancato's trial date has been set for 28 October.

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