Lillo Brancato, best known for playing “Calogero” in A Bronx Tale, as well as a minor role in The Sopranos, was released from prison early this morning (December 31). The troubled actor served eight years for his role in the killing of an NYPD cop during a burglary gone wrong.
Reports the New York Daily News:
Actor and ex-con Lillo Brancato, paroled just three hours earlier for his part in a cop-killing, received a red carpet-style welcome Tuesday from elated family members.
“Thank you for coming!” an emotional Brancato said after arriving in Yonkers inside a white Mercedes Benz E350. “Right now I just want to spend some time with my family.
“It feels great to be home.”
The convicted burglar and former junkie was greeted with cheers, hugs and waiting pizzas by a large crowd of family and friends at his parents’ home in Yonkers.
In December 2004, an NYPD officer was killed after Brancato and a friend broke into a Bronx home to steal prescription drugs.
Officer Daniel Enchautegui confronted Brancato and his accomplice, Steven Armento, who fired at the officer, killing him. The officer managed to return fire, injuring both Brancato and his co-defendant, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for Officer Enchautegui’s murder.
Brancato was acquitted of murder, but many in the NYPD think he got off easy.
If Brancato violates his parole—he has a curfew and is subject to drug testing—he will return to prison to finish out his 10 year sentence.