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Opening Arguments Begin in Trial of Actor

Charged in the Death of NYC Police

Monday, November 24, 2008

Today a Bronx jury will begin hearing the case of Lillo Brancato. The actor, who made his name in "A Bronx Tale" and on the Sopranos, is accused of felony murder in the death of New York City policeman Daniel Enchautegui.

Enchautegui was off duty when he heard what sounded like a robbery near his house and he was shot and killed when he went to check it out. The gunman was convicted of murder, and now prosecutors are trying prove that Brancato is also guilty even though he didn't pull the trigger. Under felony murder, prosecutors must first prove there was a robbery - or the murder charge disappears. Daily News reporter Melissa Grace says Brancato's lawyers will argue there was no intent to steal anything.

GRACE: The defense says he was visiting his friend at his friend's home, and that he was trying to get prescription drugs from this guy who was some kind of a prescription drug dealer, apparently. And that he wasn't breaking in at all.

REPORTER: We'll learn more about the evidence both sides have when opening statements begin today.

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