NEW ORLEANS – This week, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office (OPDA), led by Screening Division Chief Andre Gaudin and Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Penny Kissinger, secured the convictions of defendants Arec Billiot, Alec Billiot, and Caiden Fruge for the killing of University of Louisiana at Lafayette student Lee Long. With a unanimous jury decision, Arec Billiot was convicted of Negligent Homicide and Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Robbery; Alec Billiot was convicted of Manslaughter, Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery, Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Felony, and Obstruction of Justice; and Caiden Fruge was convicted of Manslaughter and Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery.
“These three young men with unmitigated avarice and malice took young Lee’s life. This indiscriminate violence is wrecking the lives of families and we must do everything legally possible to hold those who choose to wreak havoc in our communities accountable,” said District Attorney Jason Williams. “I am grateful for the hard work of ADAs Andre Gaudin and Penny Kissinger and Victim/Witness Division Chief Alison Morgado on this case. Through and through, they remained dedicated to the victims, and ensured that justice was delivered. I am also grateful for the thorough investigation of NOPD Detective Jamanne Roy, who did an excellent job bird dogging this case. Lastly, but absolutely most importantly, I would like to thank the victim’s mother, who worked tirelessly fighting for justice with law enforcement throughout the pendency of the case.”
The trial took place in Section L of Criminal District Court; Judge Angel Harris presided. The sentencing date is set for December 2022.
Lee Long’s Father Lee Long, Sr. said, “It has been nearly three years since the murder of my son, Lee Jr., on January 10, 2020. I, along with family and friends, have been praying for justice and Tuesday night we got some justice with unanimous guilty verdicts for all 3 defendants – although, it was not the 2nd Degree Murder convictions we wanted. The DA’s Office did an outstanding job in prosecuting three defendants at one time. They stayed focused and determined during the trial, yet compassionate to my family and friends. Although some justice for Lee was served, we lost more than Lee, Jr. when he was murdered! We lost our son, big brother, cousin, grandson, and future architect. My wife, Kelly, was completely focused and on a non-stop crusade to gather evidence on the murderers from the beginning. The severe stress caused Kelly to suffer Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (broken-heart syndrome); Kelly has been hospitalized for over a year. We continue to pray for justice and accountability as we approach the last step in this most difficult process.”
Screening Division Chief Andre Gaudin said, “ADA Penny Kissinger and I are proud and humbled to have secured justice for this wonderful mother and family. Special thanks to the jurors in this case for performing a vital public service.”
Victim/Witness Chief Alison Morgado said, “As the Victim/Witness Advocate on the case, I was deeply moved by the passion and tenacity of the victim’s mother and family. After all they have been through, I am glad that justice was delivered. Hopefully, they can continue to move forward in healing.”
To learn more, please visit orleansda.com.