View Full Version : Ex-Star of Bronx Tale--Sopranos shot twice--suspect in policeman's death

12-11-2005, 04:31 PM
Shooting Suspect Was Once a Rising Star
Brancato Played De Niro's Son, Had Role in 'Sopranos'

NEW YORK (Dec. 11) - A dozen years ago, Lillo Brancato Jr. was going to be a star. The unknown actor earned critical acclaim opposite his idol, Robert De Niro, in the 1993 movie "A Bronx Tale." He played the Oscar winner's son in the story of a teen torn between two role models -- a local mobster and his dad -- in a heavily Italian Bronx neighborhood.

From there, Brancato went on to appear in more than a dozen films, including "Renaissance Man," "Crimson Tide," "Enemy of the State" and "The Adventures of Pluto Nash." He later had a recurring role on "The Sopranos," where his character was eventually executed by fictional mob boss Tony Soprano in one of the series' more memorable departures.

But on Saturday, the actor was far from the bright lights and red carpets of Hollywood. Instead, police said, he was breaking into a vacant house with another man when a gunfight erupted. An off-duty police officer who responded was killed, and Brancato, who police said was unarmed, was in critical condition after being shot twice.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters that Daniel Enchautegui, a police officer of three years, was shot in the chest early on Saturday after investigating the sound of breaking glass in an unoccupied house in the Bronx.

Brancato was just 16 when De Niro launched a search for nonprofessionals to appear in his 1993 directorial debut, the film version of Chazz Palminteri's play "A Bronx Tale." Brancato was discovered by a casting director strolling along a New York beach; he came out of the water and wowed him with impressions of De Niro and Joe Pesci.

In a New York Times profile, Brancato was described as "friendly, earnest, sweet-tempered, a fast talker, a salesman, the kind of goofy tough guy who once upon a time used to hang out on a city street corner."

Brancato, now 29, was born in Bogota, Colombia, and adopted when he was 4 months old. He was raised in Yonkers and still lived in the city just north of the Bronx.

In 1999-2000, he appeared in a half-dozen episodes of "The Sopranos" as the dim-witted aspiring mobster Matt Bevilacqua. In one episode, his character worked a high-stakes card game where the players included Frank Sinatra Jr.

Brancato also starred in the short-lived TV mob show "Falcone" and guest-starred in a 2002 episode of "NYPD Blue."

His most recent appearance in the headlines came in June, when Brancato was arrested by Yonkers police who discovered four bags of heroin during a traffic stop.

12-11-05 15:36 EST

12-11-2005, 04:32 PM

12-11-2005, 04:44 PM
Well what do you expect from the guy that tried to kill Multisante?

12-11-2005, 04:50 PM
Life imitating Art yet again.....

E True Hollywood Story to follow.....

12-11-2005, 05:02 PM
He'll goto jail...get out...DeNiro will get him in something...and it will be a wonderful story...

if he lives...

12-11-2005, 06:22 PM
Smack appears to be his downfall....

Personally, I hope he gets "put to sleep."

12-11-2005, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by Nickdfresh
Smack appears to be his downfall....

Personally, I hope he gets "put to sleep."

Well, it was the poppy field that was almost the undoing of Dorothy and the gang at the outskirts of the Emerald City.

Good thing that "Snow" came to wake them back up :cool:

12-12-2005, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by LoungeMachine
Well, it was the poppy field that was almost the undoing of Dorothy and the gang at the outskirts of the Emerald City.

Good thing that "Snow" came to wake them back up :cool:

Ok, thinking this may be accidental analogy is one thing?

But, it is a real good observation. I wish i had thought of that,usually
i notice stuff like that.

A well deseved "Five".:p

12-12-2005, 12:11 PM
Do you get a reduced sentence if you've been shot and you were unarmed?

12-12-2005, 01:43 PM
Interesting question Sesh. I am not at all familiar with the New York Penal Code or Structured Sentencing Act, yet it is probably a mitigating factor to be considered during sentencing. The question is will it balance out the aggravated factor of the murder victim being a police officer trying to prevent the commission of a crime at the time of the murder and the defendant's prior conviction for what I assume is a felony drug possession charge. I also assume that New York has a "felony-murder" statute that will allow Bevolaqua to be tried and convicted for murder in the first degree despite the fact that he was not the trigger man and lacked any malice aforethought since a murder was commited during the commission of a felony (burglary or breaking and entering as the case may be).

Either way, if my memory serves correct, New York abolished the death penalty in 2004 so, assuming he is found guilty, he will probably be sentenced to life in prison. I guess the mitigating and aggrevated circumstances will be considered if and when the jury or judge deliberates upon whether or not he should be entitled to parol after 20 or so years.