Sopranos Actor Beats Murder Rap
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2008 6:47 PM CST
Actor Lillo Brancato, Jr. is shown in this Feb. 2005, file photo in New York.   (AP Photo/David Greene, file)
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(Newser) – Ex-Sopranos actor Lillo Brancato beat a cop-killing rap in New York today but faces up to 15 years for attempted burglary, the New York Daily News reports. A jury decided that Brancato, 32, did try to break into a friend's apartment in a hunt for drugs, but bore no guilt for his accomplice gunning down a police officer at the scene.

Police groups were outraged by the jury's decision. "The only good thing is that this skunk is not walking out to spend Christmas with his family," a police rep said. A stunned Brancato shut his eyes and said nothing when the verdict was delivered; his mother started weeping. "The worst is behind Mr. Brancato," his lawyer said. "He's very relieved."