Lillo Brancato, best know as the young man divided between his father and the mob in a “Bronx Tale” and the “Sopranos,” was acquitted of Second Degree Murder by a Bronx jury. Brancato’s criminal defense strategy may have helped him dodge a term of imprisonment that likely would have landed him behind bars for decades, but he is still likely to see some serious time in an upstate prison.
The jury found Brancato guilty of Attempted Burlgary in the First Degree, a class “C” violent felony. For those people who are not NY criminal defense attorneys or familiar with the criminal justice system, Burglary in the First Degree is a “B” violent felony that requires a minimum sentence of five years state prison and a maximum twenty five years state prison. Because he was convicted of this offense as an attempt and not a completed crime, the crime is lowered one degree to a “C” felony. Therefore, Brancato faces a minimum of three and one half years to fifteen years in state prison at his sentence. This potential sentence is the exact same sentence that Plaxico Burress faces if he is convicted for allegedly possessing the loaded firearm in Manhattan a few weeks ago. That being said, while both crimes are “C” violent felonies, Brancato’s sentence will likely be much more severe and closer to the higher end of the spectrum because of the terrible and unfortunate death of a police officer.
Regardless of Brancato’s sentence, nobody can bring back Officer Daniel Enchautegui or ease the suffering of his family. As noted by Brancato’s defense counsel, “[t]here was never going to be smiles. This is not a case that warrants that.”