CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Actor Lillo Brancato Acquitted of Felony Murder

Amd_lillobrancatoA slain cop's sister cried junk justice last night after a Bronx jury acquitted actor-turned-junkie Lillo Brancato of murdering Officer Daniel Enchautegui.

"I'm disappointed, I'm disappointed," a shocked Yolanda Rosa said. "What message is this sending out to the New York City police officers today?"

Rosa said she was baffled that Brancato was found guilty only of trying to burglarize his buddy's house - the crime that sparked the confrontation that left her brother dead.

"Oh my God," Rosa said. "I waited three long years for this. ... It's wrong."

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said Brancato was just as guilty as his accomplice, Steven Armento, who shot Enchautegui at point-blank range.

"This would not have happened if not for this animal's drug habit," said Lynch. "The only good thing is that this skunk is not walking out to spend Christmas with his family. The sad part is that neither is Daniel."

Brancato, 32, faces from 3-1/2 to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 9, and prosecutor Terry Gottlieb said she will ask for the max.

"He's going to jail for a very long time," Gottlieb said.

Don't count on it, countered Brancato's lawyer Joseph Tacopina, who said his client has already spent three years in jail awaiting trial and could walk with time served.

"The worst is behind Mr. Brancato," he said. "He's very relieved."

Read full article here. [Brooks Holland]

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