DA tosses actor's hospital statements in murder trial

THE BRONX - Statements that actor Lillo Brancato Jr. made to police will not be used against him in the fatal shooting of an off-duty police officer in the Bronx.

Prosecutors agreed not to introduce the statements Tuesday. An assistant DA admitted that police questioned Brancato without his lawyer after doctors gave investigators the green light. The defense also argued during the hearing that Brancato had to nod his head and write answers because he had a tube down his throat.

The statements were made at Jacobi Medical Center after the December 2005 shooting of Officer Daniel Enchautegui. Prosecutors claim the cop confronted Brancato and Steven Armento as they tried to break into a Bronx home for prescription drugs.

Armento is accused of firing the fatal shot. The hearing continues Thursday. Brancato's attorney is also trying to have his client tried separately from Armento.

AP wire reports contributed to this story.

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