Lillo Brancato Jr.
Former Sopranos actor Lillo Brancato, Jr. has a big reason to celebrate the start of 2014. Brancato, who played young mobster Matthew Bevilaqua in the HBO series, was released from prison Tuesday after serving almost 10 years behind bars, CNN reports.
Brancato was doing time for a burglary gone wrong that ended with his accomplice killing a police officer.
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Police officer Daniel Enchautegui was off duty and had just arrived home at 5:15 a.m. when he heard glass break in a vacant home next door. He called 911 and went outside where he encountered Brancato and his accomplice, Steven Armento. Both Enchautegui and Armento fired multiple shots and the officer was later pronounced dead. Armento is serving a life sentence without parole.
During the trial, Brancato admitted to breaking a window at the vacant house to score drugs and said he was going through heroin withdrawal at the time. He was released six months early for meeting educational and disciplinary requirements, according to the Hudson Correctional Facility in New York. Brancato will have parole conditions such as a curfew.
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"I'm finally home! Thank you God for a second chance at life. I won't let you down this time. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!," Brancato wrote on a Twitter account administered by a friend.
In addition to The Sopranos, Brancato is also known for his roles in A Bronx Tale and Enemy of the State.