Ex-'Sopranos' actor sentenced to 10 years

NEW YORK - A former actor on 'The Sopranos' was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for a botched burglary in the Bronx in which an accomplice shot and killed an off-duty police officer.

A jury acquitted Lillo Brancato Jr. of second-degree murder in the death of the police officer, but convicted him of attempted burglary. He had faced up to 15 years in prison.

Before sentencing, Brancato, whose drug addiction figured prominently in testimony during the trial in the Bronx, begged the court for mercy.

But state Supreme Court Justice Martin Marcus wasn't swayed.

'I cannot ignore the fact that, because of the burglary, a brave young police officer is dead,' he said.

Swayze checks into hospital

LOS ANGELES - Patrick Swayze checked himself into the hospital for observation after contracting pneumonia, A&E President Abbe Raven announced Friday at a meeting of the Television Critics Association.

Swayze was scheduled to appear to discuss his upcoming drama 'The Beast.'

Robert DeBitetto, A&E's programming senior vice president, explained his absence.

'Patrick has asked that I tell you that this morning he checked himself into the hospital for observation,' said DeBitetto. 'Chemotherapy can take its toll on the immune system, and illnesses are a part of that.'

Bono to write for NY Times

NEW YORK - Can he type with those shades on? Bono will write a column for The New York Times.

The paper announced that his first column will appear Sunday, for which he will also do a podcast. His column will appear occasionally.

Bono called the gig 'an honor,' and joked that he's 'never been great with the full stops or commas.'