Today was bittersweet for the family of Lionel Pickens, better known as Chinx to millions of fans. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced today (December 14) that a five-count indictment—including second degree murder, attempted murder and gun charges—has been brought upon both Jamar Hill and Quincy Homere for the May 2015 shootings of Chinx and his friend Antar Alzaidi.
Alzaidi was present this afternoon in Queens Criminal Court along with Chinx’s family and friends as both defendants were arraigned. He sat in the third row, two seats away from Chinx’s mother Veronica Clinton whose eyes watered up. Chinx’s manager Doug “Biggs” Ellison and his wife, Grammy-nominated singer Chrissette Michelle, sat quietly in the last row of the courtroom. And Chinx’s widow Janelli Caceres and their two children sat in the second row. Caceres, fighting back tears, put her hands into a prayer when Hill and Homere were escorted into the court by officers shackled in cuffs.
It was revealed that three witnesses came forward in October and both Homere and Hill were already in jail on unrelated cases.
Homere, 32, is currently serving an eight-month to five-year sentence on federal charges of bank robbery. He was also wanted for a gun charge stemming from a 2015 arrest and a court date he skipped out on. Hill, 26, was also already incarcerated, serving time for bank robbery, as well. The men had separate legal representation and both entered pleas of not-guilty. They were both remanded in custody and the opening arguments on their trial starts January 16.
“When the case is over, I can talk about it,” Ms. Clinton said before leaving the courthouse.
Caceres added, “It’s a bit overwhelming. It’s a bittersweet moment. I’ve been saying for the longest [that] I had faith in the detectives on the case. I knew they were working very hard. It’s been a long two-and-a-half years. Hopefully, [it’s] the beginning of the end of the last chapter of this situation. Hopefully it won’t be too long before it comes to an end. And we’re happy. We prayed everyday for this day.”
Chinx’s wife admitted that the toughest thing about today was being so close to the men accused of killing her husband.
“It was hard,” she said. “To sit there and see the person responsible for this. Not being able to say anything. Not to give any emotion. So many things you want to say. You want to act out, but you can’t. I just pray that it goes quickly and they get what they deserve.”
As for their young children, she said today brings them “one step closer to closure.”
“It doesn’t change anything,” she added. “It doesn’t bring him back, but at least we know somebody is being held responsible and they’re not out here with the chance of doing this to somebody else’s family.”