New York Daily News

December 18, 2008 


Lillo Brancato's smirks spur fury as jury deliberates

By Melissa Grace and Larry McShane
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Raw feelings erupted Wednesday in a Bronx courtroom as a jury deliberated the fate of "Sopranos" actor Lillo Brancato, who is charged in the slaying of a cop.

The sister of slain Officer Daniel Enchautegui angrily accused Brancato of smirking, while the head of the police union ripped the actor as a snickering "mongrel" and cursed the suspect's attorney.

"You have no idea how much I'm sick of seeing that guy," Enchautegui's sister, Yolanda Rosa, said. "I can't take this anymore. He's smiling and laughing."

It was the second trial attended by Rosa, who never missed a day of the case against convicted co-defendant Steven Armento.

Brancato lawyer Joseph Tacopina and Patrolmen's Benevolent Association head Patrick Lynch traded barbs in a courthouse hallway, with the union boss cursing at the attorney.

"To sit there and have a professional attorney laughing as if this was a joke in front of a dead man's family is the most insulting thing that ever happened in front of a bench in this state," Lynch said.

The fireworks followed the jury's request to hear the exact wording of the least serious charges against Brancato: burglary and attempted burglary. He also faces a charge of felony murder.