Juror tossed out in Brancato murder trial

Posted: Updated:

One of the jurors in the murder trial of actor Lillo Brancato Jr. was dismissed Thursday after it was discovered he had been taking notes during the proceedings and researching the case on the Internet.

Brancato agreed to replace the juror with an alternate, thus preventing a mistrial in the case. At around 1 p.m., the jury started deliberations all over again, which is likely to delay the delivery of a verdict.

?What?s disturbing is they wouldn?t take these instructions seriously,? says PBA President Patrick Lynch, referring to the jurors.

Brancato is facing a second-degree murder charge in the 2005 shooting death of off-duty Police Officer Daniel Enchautegui, who was gunned down during an alleged burglary by Brancato's co-conspirator, Steven Armento.

In addition to the murder charge, the jury will also have to decide whether Brancato tried to break into the house of his friend, Kenny Scovato, in order to steal prescription drugs.

The defense claims the actor had permission to enter Scovato?s house. The prosecutors, however, say if Brancato was allowed to enter, why did he break the window and was wearing latex gloves?

If convicted of second-degree murder, Brancato could face a life sentence. If the jury finds him guilty on the burglary charge, he could be looking at 25 years behind bars. Armento has already been convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

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