N.Y. man found guilty of shooting officer

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By Verena Dobnik
Associated Press

NEW YORK — A man accused with "Sopranos" actor Lillo Brancato Jr. of fatally shooting an off-duty police officer during a burglary has been convicted of murder.

Steven Armento, 51, faces a possible sentence of life in prison without parole after jurors found him guilty Thursday of first-degree murder while committing a felony in the Dec. 10, 2005, death of Daniel Enchautegui. Sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 14.

Armento and Brancato broke into a basement apartment to steal prescription drugs after a night of drinking at a strip club, according to investigators. Enchautegui, who lived next-door, confronted them after hearing noises in the apartment.

Prosecutors said Armento fired at the 28-year-old officer with a .357 Magnum, hitting him once in the heart. The dying officer fired back and wounded both men.

A nurse's aide testified during the trial that Armento bragged from his hospital bed that he would be "a king in jail" for killing a police officer.

Brancato, 32, who appeared in the 1993 movie "A Bronx Tale" with Robert De Niro as well as "The Sopranos," is scheduled to be tried on second-degree murder charges next month.

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