Ex-“Sopranos” star Lillo Brancato, paroled Tuesday for his role in a cop killing, walked out of prison knowing any misstep would lead to a jail cell sequel.
Family and friends at his parents’ Yonkers home rolled out the red carpet for the one-time Hollywood hot shot, who arrived in a white Mercedes Benz E350 a little more than three hours after his release.
Richard Harbus/New York Daily News
Brancato was greeted with cheers, hugs and waiting pizzas by a large crowd of family and friends at his parents’ home in Yonkers
“Thank you for coming!” an emotional Brancato said after arriving. “Right now I just want to spend some time with my family. It feels great to be home.”
The convicted burglar was greeted with cheers, hugs and waiting pizzas by a large and happy crowd of supporters.
Former ‘Sopranos’ actor Lillo Brancato was released from an upstate prison on Tuesday night.
“Welcome home!” came their shouts before Brancato disappeared behind a set of sliding doors at about 12:30 p.m. “Welcome home!”
Richard Harbus/New York Daily News
‘Right now I just want to spend some time with my family. It feels great to be home,’ Brancato told the media outside his home.
Later, he tweeted, “I’m finally home! Thank you God for a second chance at life. I won’t let you down this time.”
The 37-year-old actor and recovering junkie faces a nightly curfew, frequent drug testing and promised scrutiny from the NYPD eight years after the slaying of Officer Daniel Enchautegui.
Brancato (right) during a scene from HBO’s ‘The Sopranos.’
He was released at about 9 a.m. from upstate’s Hudson Correctional Facility.
Under the terms of his parole, Brancato is subject to drug testing at his parole officer’s direction, barred from drinking and placed under a 10 p.m. curfew through Dec. 31, 2018.
Brancato had been serving 10 years for his part in a burglary that resulted in the death of Officer Daniel Enchautegui.
Violation of any of the terms would result in him going back to prison to finish out the rest of his sentence — and Enchautegui’s police brethren vowed to keep their collective eyes on Brancato.
Lillo Brancato (right) in a scene from ‘A Bronx Tale’ with Robert De Niro (left).
“This union will take any steps necessary to ensure that this miscreant follows the conditions of his parole down to the last letter,” vowed Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
Enchautegui was killed Dec. 10, 2005, when Brancato and an older pal — after a night of drinking and doing drugs — tried to steal prescription drugs from a Bronx apartment.
Alvarez, Enid/New York Daily New/Alvarez, Enid/New York Daily New
Yolanda Rosa, the sister of slain Officer Daniel Enchautegui, seen after Lillo Brancato was sentenced in 2009.
The off-duty officer was gunned down in the darkness by Steven Armento, now 56, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Brancato, shot twice by the dying cop, beat a charge of felony murder in the case. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a burglary conviction, even as the PBA and Enchautegui’s family demanded the maximum term of 15 years.
Timothy Fadek/Timothy Fadek/Polaris
Officer Daniel Enchautegui was fatally shot in the chest when he investigated the burglary in the Bronx.
“He was equally responsible for my brother’s death,” said the slain cop’s sister, Yolanda Rosa, who attended Brancato’s trial.
Officer Enchautegui was a three-year veteran.
“I knew this day was going to come, and now it’s here, you know?” she said about Brancato’s parole. “I’m just disappointed.”
The head of the city police union was outraged that Brancato was not forced to do his full 10-year stretch.
Steven Armento was convicted of first-degree murder for firing the shot that killed Enchautegui.
“It is our firm belief that Lillo Brancato is guilty of the murder of police officer Daniel Enchautegui even though he was only convicted of attempted burglary,” said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association head Patrick Lynch.
“Even while incarcerated, this lowlife thug showed his true colors when he beat up a fellow inmate who wouldn’t get off a payphone quickly enough.”
Brancato, 37, was released over the vehement objections of police union officials, who insisted he should have been convicted of murder.
Brancato was a teen when he was discovered by Robert De Niro and starred opposite the Oscar winner in 1993’s “A Bronx Tale.”
But his soaring Hollywood career was derailed by his drug problem, although he memorably appeared in a half-dozen episodes of “The Sopranos” as a dimwit mob wannabe.
His character was executed by James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano.
Brancato’s eight-year sentence included the time spent behind bars before his conviction.
Just six months before the police shooting, Brancato was busted in Yonkers with four bags of heroin.
In a recent tweet, Brancato said he was worried about life outside of prison.
“I should be really happy to be going home but in all actuality I’m not; I’m nervous & scared,” he wrote. “Been a long time, I don’t know what to expect.”