Brancato jury to continue deliberations next week

THE BRONX - The jury in the murder trial of actor Lillo Brancato Jr. remained undecided Friday.

The jury will continue deliberations in the case on Monday.

Jurors asked the judge Friday morning to re-read the two burglary charges against Brancato, who is also charged with second-degree murder. The lesser charges carry the least severe punishment of five to 15 years in prison.

A mistrial was narrowly avoided Thursday after it was discovered a juror had been taking notes during the hearings and researching the case online.

Brancato agreed to a substitution with an alternate juror. His consent was required because the jury had already started deliberating the day before. The move forced the jurors to start over, delaying the delivery of the verdict.

?We?re hoping there is a debate going on in that room to do the right thing,? says PBA President Patrick Lynch. ?A New York City police officer is dead, [and] we must take these killers off the street so they won?t kill us.?

Prosecutors say Brancato and his friend Steven Armento broke into a Pelham Bay apartment next to the home of Officer Daniel Enchautegui. When Enchautegui came out and confronted the two men, Armento shot him in the heart.

AP wire reports contributed to this article.

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