THE BRONX - The man convicted of gunning down an off-duty NYPD officer nearly three years ago was sentenced to life in prison without parole Thursday.

The Bronx district attorney says Steven Armento, 51, will spend the rest of his life behind bars for his role in the death of Officer Daniel Enchautegui.

Investigators say the officer was trying to stop Armento and ?A Bronx Tale? actor Lillo Brancato from breaking into the basement of a Pelham Bay home to steal drugs after a night of drinking at a Yonkers strip club.

Enchautegui, 28, who lived next door to the house that was being burglarized, came out to investigate and was shot to death by Armento with a blast from his .357 Magnum.

Armento was convicted in October. Brancato?s trial is scheduled to begin next week.

AP wire reports contributed to this article.

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