A former actor on "The Sopranos'' was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a botched burglary in the Bronx in which an accomplice shot and killed a police officer.
Lillo Brancato Jr., who was acquitted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of an off-duty policeman Daniel Enchautegui, could have gotten a 15-year sentence, but the judge elected to give him 10 years.
Brancato has already served almost three years in prison and could be released as soon as 2014 to the dismay of officer Enchautegui's family and the Patrolman's Benevolent Association.
Enchautegui's sister, Yolanda Rosa, addressed the court and explained both her mother and father died since her brother's murder.
Both Sides React to Brancato Sentence
"I can't remember my mother ever laughing again," Rosa said. "Mom had no will to live and also gave up."
A spokesperson for the PBA called the sentence a "travesty of justice."
Brancato and accomplice Steven Armento broke into a basement apartment to steal prescription drugs after a night of drinking at a strip club. Officer Enchautegui, who lived next door, came out to investigate.
Armento blasted the 28-year-old officer with his .357 Magnum, hitting him in the heart. The dying officer fired back, wounding both men. Armento was convicted earlier this year of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
"He'll always be a murderer, despite what the jury says," Rosa said.
Chazz Palminteri Weighs In
Actor Chazz Palminteri, whose character played a father figure to Brancato in "A Bronx Tale," was a guest on New York radio station Q 104.3 Friday, and offered his reaction to the saga.
"I warned him over the years that anything can happen if you fool around with drugs," Palminteri said. "I kept telling him you have to stop this. He did not listen and did not stop it. And it is very sad." To hear more of Palminteri's reaction, click here.