DA Vance: Ricky Billups and Sharife Moses Sentenced to 40-Years-to-Life in State Prison for 2011 Murder at NYCHA Building in East Harlem


January 8, 2015

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of RICKY BILLUPS, 26, and SHARIFE MOSES, 26, to 40-years-to-life in state prison for the 2011 murder of Aaron “Colby” Collins. On December 12, 2014, a jury in New York State Supreme Court convicted BILLUPS and MOSES of Murder in the Second Degree, Robbery in the First and Second Degrees, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon the Second Degree.

“Ricky Billups and Sharife Moses will now serve decades in prison for murdering Aaron Collins, a 28-year-old father of two young children,” said District Attorney Vance. “This case, like so many others involving violence in public housing developments, underscores the critical need to improve safety in NYCHA facilities.  For this reason, my Office has pledged $100 million to fund vital infrastructure upgrades at 15 public housing facilities citywide.” 

As proven at trial, at approximately 9 p.m. on December 12, 2011, Mr. Collins was shot and killed by the defendants during the course of a robbery inside a darkened stairwell on the 17th floor of the Wilson-Woodrow Houses, a public housing development on 105th Street in East Harlem. Mr. Collins was shot three times; in the back of his neck, his shoulder, and the left side of his body, before the defendants fled with the victim’s wallet and cellphone. He later died from his injuries at Metropolitan Hospital. BILLUPS and MOSES were both arrested a month later for open parole warrants on unrelated, separate violent robberies, and indicted in June 2012 following an extensive investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the NYPD.

Recognizing that 5 percent of New York City resident live in public housing, yet the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) accounts for 20 percent of all violent crime citywide, last month District Attorney Vance committed $101 million in asset forfeiture funds toward enhancing security at NYCHA developments. The money will be used to install security cameras in the lobbies, elevators, and exteriors of 15 NYCHA developments citywide; link those cameras to NYPD networks; improve exterior lighting; and enable layered access via keyfobs and new doors, as well as additional public safety evaluation and programming.

Assistant District Attorneys Joshua Steinglass and Jamie Kleidman prosecuted this case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Armando Durastanti, Chief of Trial Bureau 40, and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Trial Preparation Assistant Mallory Evans assisted with the case. 

District Attorney Vance thanked members of the NYPD’s Manhattan North Homicide Squad and 23rd Precinct Detective Squad for their assistance with the case, particularly Detective Charles Freitag and retired Detective Kevin Walla.

Defendant Information:

RICKY BILLUPS, D.O.B. 5/11/1988
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:
•    Murder in the Second Degree, a class A felony, one count
•    Robbery in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
•    Robbery in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
•    Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count

Sentenced:
•    40 years-to-life in state prison

SHARIFE MOSES, D.O.B. 3/28/1988
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:
•    Murder in the Second Degree, a class A felony, one count
•    Robbery in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
•    Robbery in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
•    Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count

Sentenced:
•    40 years-to-life in state prison