It's not Lenue's fault. He wasn't hugged enough as a child.
I hope the judge and the Legal Aid society who represented this fine upstanding young man aren't too depressed about this. It's not their fault. I wish Lenue all the best...he's been a victim all his life.
Grieving daughter rips NYC courts for letting mom’s accused killer free on $5K bail five months before fatal shooting: ‘A f—ing slap in the face’
By Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, NY Post
Published Nov. 20, 2023, 3:00 p.m. ET
The grieving daughter of a slain Manhattan woman says it’s “a f—ing slap in the face” that her mother’s accused murderer was allegedly free to kill despite breaking into the victim’s home and attacking her just months earlier.
Natalie Questa said murder suspect Lenue Moore belonged behind bars after allegedly busting into the family’s Washington Heights apartment, breaking her mother’s arm, slamming her boyfriend in the head with a hammer and smashing her in the face.
But Moore, 31, was cut loose on a measly bail in the violent incident — and allegedly returned to the neighborhood some five months later, gunning down Jackie Billini, her friend and her pitbull, Zeus, in what police said was a long-running spat over the dog.
“It devastated us,” Questa, 32, told The Post in a recent interview. “It felt like that was a f—ing slap in the face.”
Making it worse, Billini, 57, was part of the very system that failed her, her daughter said — she was an analyst in state court in the Bronx.
“My mom believed in the justice system,” Questa said. “But it’s like, what ended up happening to us? We did everything the correct way. We didn’t retaliate, we didn’t do anything. We let the court system do its job and look what ended up happening to my mother.”
Jackie Billini, 57, was gunned down on Sept. 29 along with her friend, LeVaughn Harvin and her pitbull, Zeus, in Washington Heights. The following month cops charged Lenue Moore, a neighbor, with the triple slaying.
Lenue Moore, 31, was charged with burglary and assault for allegedly busting into neighbor Jackie Billini’s apartment in Washington Heights and breaking her arm. He is now charged with killing her five months later.
Prosecutors said the slayings stemmed from a simmering feud between Billini, Moore and his mother, who lived across the hall from the victim’s second-floor apartment on West 163rd Street.
The feud apparently began earlier this year, when neighbors said Moore tried to kick one of Billini’s dogs, upset by their barking. In February, Zeus was stabbed, and Questa said the family suspected, but could never prove, that Moore was to blame.
Tensions came to a head on April 11, when Moore allegedly came after Billini’s family, kicking her apartment door in, according to a criminal complaint.
“I remember it sounded like a slam, so I thought maybe the dog knocked something over,” Questa recalled. “And my mom said, ‘No, it’s the door,’ and she went and opened it.”
Moore “told my mom to step outside and that’s when I told her to call the cops,” Questa said.
Surveillance images captured Lenue Moore, 31, trying to break into Jackie Billini’s apartment in Washington Heights on April 11. The two had an ongoing dispute over noise. Moore is now charged with Billini’s murder in September.
“And that’s when he kicked the door open. On the first kick he broke her arm, because the door hit her arm. When the second one came, that’s when I ran towards the door,” she continued.
“My friend walked over to try to help close the door, and my boyfriend came over to help us close the door,” she added. “It’s like 80% of his body was in my house.”
The family called the cops and Moore was arrested inside his mother’s apartment.
Moore was charged with assault and attempted burglary, and Manhattan prosecutors asked that he be held on $15,000 cash bail or a $30,000 bond, arguing that, despite him having no criminal record, the allegations involve “a serious and violent case.”
But Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Melissa Lewis instead set bail at $5,000 in cash or a $5,000 bond — requiring Moore to post just 10%, or $500 to walk free.
Moore remained free after his May 18 arraignment on an indictment that included upgraded burglary and assault charges, as Manhattan Supreme Court Justice April Newbauer opted to keep the same bail conditions in place, although prosecutors had again asked for the higher amount.
“I said, ‘This is a f—ing joke,’” Questa said of the handling of the case.
Washington Heights triple slalying.
The court also issued an order of protection warning Moore to stay away from Billini and her family — but it didn’t stop him from allegedly targeting the mom as she walked with a friend and her dog.
On Sept. 29 — just one day after Moore was in court on the burglary and assault case — he allegedly killed Billini, her pal Levaughn Harvin and Zeus in a hail of 9 mm slugs on the corner of 161st Street and Edgecombe Avenue, according to a criminal complaint.
“He’s the first person who came to my mind,” Questa said she thought of Moore in the aftermath of her mom’s murder.
Neighbors have told The Post that Billini had asked Harvin to walk with her around the neighborhood because she feared Moore following his release on bail in the brutal break-in.
The accused killer spent nearly a month on the run before he was arrested in Brooklyn Oct. 26 and sent to Rikers Island without bail.
Lenue Moore, 31, went on the lam after allegedly killing neighbor Jackie Billini, her friend and her dog on Sept. 29. Police tracked him down last month and charged him with three counts of murder. He is due back in court on Tuesday.
He is set to be arraigned on a Manhattan Supreme Court indictment charging him with Billini and Harvin’s murders Tuesday.
Al Baker, the spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration, defended the judge’s decision in the break-in case, noting that bail is required only to ensure a defendant returns to court for future proceedings, which Moore did.
“The criminal court judge followed the law in determining the defendant’s release status,” Baker said in a statement. “The criminal court judges in this case weighed everything before them to set bail and to make the best decisions possible in the interest of justice.”
He added Billini’s slaying was “particularly devastating” because she worked for the court system, but said the judge did her sworn duty and remained “professional and impartial.”
The Legal Aid Society, which represents Moore in the murder case, declined comment, as did his attorney in the break-in case, which is still pending.
Questa plans to be in court on Tuesday as Moore is indicted over the fatal shooting she said could have been avoided.
“I felt like they didn’t ever take us seriously,” she said of the judge and the DA’s office. “I cannot ever get my mother back. I can’t go f—ing home and see my mother. They can go home and rest peacefully, but I can’t do that. I will never have my mom.”
As for Moore, she said, “I hope he never sees the light of day.”