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Top News Story! A Story of Murder! Chauncey Bailey Murder Trial!
(Left to right: Antoine Mackey, Yusuf Bey IV, Devaughndre Broussard)
Posted: 03:10 pm PDT June 09, 2011
OAKLAND, Calif. -- After more than two weeks of deliberations, the jurors in the Chauncey Bailey murder case Thursday found Yusuf Bey IV and his associate Antoine Mackey guilty of the murder of the Oakland journalist and two others. The seven-woman, five-man panel deadlocked on one of the nine counts in the case but found the pair guilty of eight of nine counts in the shooting deaths of Bailey and two other men in Oakland in the summer of 2007. The jury, which began deliberations on May 23rd in the trial of former Bey – the former leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery – and Mackey, could not reach a decision on a count in the murder of Odell Roberson.
Prosecutor Melissa Krum successfully argued that Bey ordered the killing of Bailey, 57, to prevent him from writing an article about the bakery's financial problems.
The bakery was in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings when Bailey was killed on Aug. 2, 2007, and closed its doors later that year.
Bey and Mackey were also charged with the murders of Roberson Jr., 31, who was the uncle of the man convicted of killing Bey's older brother, as well as Michael Wills, who was allegedly a random victim. The prosecution's key witness in the case was bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard, 23, who admitted during the trial that he fatally shot Bailey and Roberson, but said he did so because Bey ordered him to.
Broussard also implicated Mackey in all three murders, saying Mackey killed Wills at Bey's direction and participated in the fatal shootings of Bailey and Roberson. Broussard had been charged with two counts of murder, but prosecutors allowed him to plead guilty to two counts of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter in return for his testimony against Bey and Mackey. Broussard could have faced life in prison without the possibility of parole, but his plea agreement calls for him to receive a 25-year state prison term.
Posted: 12:10 pm PDT May 23, 2011
ALAMEDA , Calif. -- A prosecutor told jurors Monday that there's enough evidence to convict former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and an associate of three counts of murder for the shooting deaths of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men. In her closing argument in the two-month trial of Bey and Antoine Mackey, both 25, prosecutor Melissa Krum said Bey "might have completely got away with" the murders of Bailey, Odell Roberson Jr. and Michael Wills in Oakland in the summer of 2007 if it weren't for the testimony of bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard.
Broussard, 23, admitted during the trial that he fatally shot Bailey and Roberson but said he did so because Bey ordered him to. Broussard also implicated Mackey in all three murders, saying Mackey killed Wills at Bey's direction and participated in the fatal shootings of Bailey and Roberson. Broussard had been charged with two counts of murder, but prosecutors allowed him to plead guilty to two counts of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter in return for his testimony against Bey and Mackey. Broussard could have faced life in prison without the possibility of parole but his plea agreement calls for him to receive a 25-year state prison term.
Lawyers for Bey and Mackey said in their closing arguments last week that the two men should be found not guilty because Broussard's testimony is unreliable, as he gave several different accounts of what happened when Bailey was killed. Broussard has said that Bey ordered him to kill Bailey, who was the editor of the Oakland Post, because he was working on a story about the bakery's financial problems. The bakery was in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings when Bailey was killed on Aug. 2, 2007, and closed its doors later this year.
Jurors are now getting legal instructions from Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon and will begin deliberating after their lunch break.
Posted: 05/18/2011 11:35:32 AM PDT
Updated: 05/18/2011 04:14:33 PM PDT
OAKLAND -- "Kill no one that Allah has not ordered be killed."
Those words were among written rules of conduct for members of Your Black Muslim Bakery and the orders of Allah "came through the mouth of Yusuf Bey IV," the prosecutor in the Chauncey Bailey murder trial told jurors Wednesday morning as she began her closing argument. Bey IV, prosecutor Melissa Krum said, "thought he was the king of Oakland, a child king" who 'terrorized our city. He thought he ran this city." That terror, she said, included ordering Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post, shot to death on Aug. 2, 2007. "He thought he could kill a reporter to stop a story or avenge stories already written," Krum said she gestured toward Bey IV, 25, sitting at the defense table in a cream colored suit next to his co-defendant, bakery member Antoine Mackey.
The pair is charged with Bailey's death and two others and have pleaded not guilty. Krum's argument is scheduled to continue when trial resumes Wednesday afternoon.
She is contending that Bey IV, desperate to save the bakery from a bankruptcy "after running it into the ground" committed a string of crimes in 2007 that culminated in Bailey's death. She has yet to discuss evidence in the other murders with which Bey IV and Mackey are charged, those of Odell Roberson and Michael Wills.
Several of Bailey's and Wills relatives observed as Krum delivered her closing argument. Outside of court, Bailey's brother, Errol Cooley, said Krum was describing "a whole bunch of thugs, a whole bunch of hooligans." If journalists, Cooley said, "can't really speak about the truth about the truth then we have nothing."
Krum began after two months of evidence by saying Bey IV is not "a normal person." The bakery, she said, "had a gang mentality" and its leader had an incredible ego and thought he could get away with whatever he wanted. She said her star witness, Bailey's confessed killer, Devaughndre Broussard, "is a sociopath who had no empathy, no sympathy, no feelings. He's a stone cold killer." But, she said, he spoke truthfully about being ordered to kill Bailey and his testimony is supported by numerous other pieces of evidence, including cell phone records, ballistic reports, data from a tracking device hidden on Bey IV's car, the testimony of other witnesses and statements Bey IV gave to investigators.
Defense lawyers representing Bey IV and Mackey, have said repeatedly that Broussard is a liar the jury will not believe. They are expected to begin their arguments later Wednesday or Thursday morning. But "what (Broussard) says rings absolutely true with what we know from other sources," Krum said. Evidence shows that Bey IV was convicted of stealing the shotgun used to kill Bailey during an attack on an Oakland liquor store in 2005, Krum said. Evidence also shows that Bey IV asked Mackey to wake him up at 5 a.m. the morning of Bailey's death, which phone records confirm. Mackey testified Tuesday that Bey IV wanted to be awakened to pray.
Krum told jurors that Mackey's testimony was incredulous. Bey IV, she said, "wanted to make sure his killers were ready to roll." Mackey and Bey IV also exchanged two phone calls minutes after Bailey was killed, Krum said. At the same time, the owner of the getaway vehicle, a white van, was calling Bey IV asking where the van was. Mackey said he didn't remember the contents of those calls right after the killing. The evidence "nails Mackey," Krum said. He "can't explain the details away."
Posted: 05/17/2011 11:43:44 AM PDT
Updated: 05/17/2011 10:27:25 PM PDT
OAKLAND -- Accused triple killer Antoine Mackey testified Tuesday that he didn't kill or help kill anyone, including journalist Chauncey Bailey, while working at Your Black Muslim Bakery in summer 2007. Mackey said that Devaughndre Broussard -- the man who confessed to killing Bailey and said Mackey helped -- was angry with him for having sex with women in whom he also had an interest, and so implicated him in the shooting deaths. Mackey's testimony was an unexpected turn in the trial and came on the day jurors had been told to instead expect closing arguments in the trial that has lasted about two months.
Broussard testified that Mackey acted as the getaway driver following the Aug. 2, 2007, shooting of Bailey and that Mackey helped in the shooting death of 31-year-old homeless man Odell Roberson on July 8, 2007. Broussard also said Mackey bragged about killing a third man, Michael Wills, on July 12, 2007. Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV ordered all the killings, Broussard said. Broussard, Mackey said, "roughed up" a girl he liked after she and Mackey had sex. Outside court, Mackey's lawyer said jurors "will infer" that Broussard was motivated by anger and jealousy to lie that Mackey committed murders.
But Mackey told the jury of seven men and five women that he had nothing to do with the deaths. Mackey and Bey IV, both 25, have pleaded not guilty to all charges. Closing arguments in the trial are now expected to begin Wednesday.
Mackey, wearing a light brown shirt and dark tie, took the stand about 10 a.m., telling jurors in a deep, gravely voice, "I want to tell my side of the story, so to speak." He described himself as "a nerd" who was fascinated with bakery's cash register but also said he hid a loaded sawed-off shotgun under his bed in his room at the bakery complex because he was paranoid after being shot on three separate occasions when he lived in San Francisco.
Under cross examination from prosecutor Melissa Krum, Mackey confirmed cell phone records showing he called Bey IV at 5:02 a.m. the morning of Bailey's death, saying Bey IV asked to be awakened so he could pray. It was the only time Mackey said Bey IV made such a request.
But Mackey said he couldn't remember anything about the content of additional calls between the two men over the next few hours, including two calls within minutes of Bailey's shooting. Mackey also said he couldn't remember anything about four calls he and Bey IV exchanged right around the time the 36-year-old Wills was shot as he walked to a corner store.
"I don't remember what none of the content of my phone calls was," Mackey said.
Mackey said was working at the bakery when Bailey and Wills were killed and was in his bedroom when Roberson was shot, and happened upon the Roberson shooting scene just as police arrived after deciding to walk to a nearby store to buy candy.
Mackey also refuted earlier testimony in which Broussard said Mackey drove by and sat outside Bailey's apartment building near Lake Merritt seven hours before the journalist was shot. Broussard also said he, Mackey and Bey IV drove past the shooting scene on Alice and 14th streets the next morning.
In recorded interviews, Bey IV told both Oakland police and District Attorney's Office investigators that he, Mackey and Broussard sat outside the journalist's apartment hours before the shooting. Bey IV first denied the visit, but later changed his story when confronted with evidence from a police tracking device hidden on his car. Bey IV also said Mackey was with him when they drove past the scene the next morning.
But a 1968 U.S. Supreme Court ruling precludes prosecutor Melissa Krum from playing those recordings for the jury, a law professor said Tuesday.
"The basic idea is that the Constitution guarantees every criminal defendant a right to confront the witnesses against him, and the Supreme Court has said that right can be compromised if the prosecution introduces a statement taken outside of court from the other defendant," said David Sklansky, a law professor at University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall law school and chair of the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice.
In this case, using Bey IV's recorded statement to incriminate Mackey can't be allowed because Mackey would have no opportunity to cross-examine Bey IV, because he, in turn, has a constitutional right not to testify at trial.
Outside court, Mackey's attorney declined to discuss the apparent contradiction in Bey IV's taped statement and the testimony. "Mackey's testimony speaks for itself," he said.
Broussard testified in March that Bey IV ordered him and Mackey to kill Bailey, 57, to stop the journalist from writing about the bakery in the Oakland Post. Broussard told jurors he killed Roberson with Mackey's help and that Mackey and Bey IV bragged about killing Wills because they wanted to "get a white devil."
In early testimony, Mackey said he bore no hatred toward white people and never heard Bey IV preach at the bakery about racial hatred.
Mackey said he went to work at the bakery after desperately seeking a way out of San Francisco in June 2007 after being shot for the third time.
Posted: 05/03/2011 02:27:13 PM PDT
Updated: 05/04/2011 11:52:23 AM PDT
OAKLAND, CA -- Jurors in the Chauncey Bailey murder trial heard police recordings Tuesday morning in which former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV said several times that Bailey, a newspaper reporter, had "slandered" the business and his late father. Those recordings were played shortly before prosecutor Melissa Krum rested her triple murder case against Bey IV and co-defendant Antoine Mackey after nearly six weeks of testimony and more than 60 witnesses.
On the audio recordings, Bey IV told both Oakland Police and investigators from the Alameda County District Attorney's Office that he knew Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post, was working on a story about the bakery. Krum contends that Bey IV ordered Bailey killed to stop the story from being published and as revenge for other articles Bailey had written about Bey IV's father, bakery founder Yusuf Bey. Bailey "degraded my father" in print, Bey IV told county investigators, adding that he learned of the pending story [from] his sister, who had a friend who worked at the Oakland Post.
A previous witness, Nisayah Yahudah, who said she was once married to the elder Bey, testified that she worked at the Post when Bailey was killed and that she saw another member of the Bey family with Bailey at the newspaper office. That other family member, Ali Saleem Bey, testified that he was the confidential source feeding Bailey information about the bakery and Bey IV. Bey IV told county Inspector Robert Chenault that "the person who works at the Post" told his sister that the story "was gonna be a problem."
Krum's final witness was Oakland Police Sgt. Derwin Longmire (pictured left) who took the stand for a second time as jurors heard recordings of interviews with bakery members conducted on Aug. 3, 2007, the day after Bailey was killed. In that recording, Bey IV said "guns weren't allowed at the bakery, period" and denied that live ammunition and spent rifle and shotgun rounds were in his bedroom above the bakery. Several police officers testified they recovered scores of bullets in and around the bedroom and other witness said they had seen weapons in the room that Bey IV controlled. Longmire also said that Bey IV was lying when he boasted on a secretly recorded police video that the detective had promised him he wouldn't be charged in the case.
"Did you make him any promises?" Krum asked.
"No, ma'am," Longmire replied.
'I PLEAD The Fifth!'
Posted: 05/04/2011 11:18:27 AM PDT
OAKLAND, CA -- A former member of Your Black Muslim Bakery asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination Wednesday morning and refused to testify in the Chauncey Bailey murder trial. Richard Lewis was convicted last year of kidnapping, torture and other crimes and is serving a life sentence without parole eligibility at Pelican Bay State Prison in Del Norte County. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon, who described any potential testimony by Lewis as fraught with legal complications, granted Lewis' claim during a brief hearing.
Defense lawyers wanted his testimony in the case against former bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and bakery member Antoine Mackey. Mackey's attorney claims that Lewis, not Mackey, was the getaway driver after Bailey was shot on Aug. 2, 2007. Bey IV and Mackey have pleaded not guilty to triple-murder charges in connection with Bailey's death and the unrelated shooting deaths of Michael Wills and Odell Roberson.
Mackey's attorney also claims that Lewis -- not Mackey -- shot and killed Wills in July 2007, largely because a witness described a man fitting Lewis' physical description running from the scene. Lewis is 5-feet, 8-inches tall; Mackey is listed as 6-feet, 2-inches tall in jail records. Lewis, in a red jail jumpsuit and shackled at the waist, sat in the jury box with his attorney answering Reardon's questions in a barely audible voice. The attorney said previously that Lewis wanted to "pick and chose" what questions he would answer. On Wednesday, the attorney said his client had changed his mind and accepted his advice not to testify.
Since Lewis has appealed his conviction in the kidnapping and torture case, Reardon said that there was little that he could testify about that would not be incriminating. Even answering a simple question like "how long have you known Mr. Bey," could have been problem for Lewis, "given the evidence I have heard," Reardon said.
The man who confessed to shooting Bailey and Roberson, Devaughndre Broussard, described Lewis as a longtime family friend. Mackey's attorney has claimed Broussard was protecting Lewis by incriminating Mackey in the deaths. In a related ruling, Reardon said Mackey's attorney could call Lewis' former high school football coach to the stand. Lewis was a former standout running back. The witness who saw a man fleeing from the Wills killing described that person running like "a halfback."
'I don't remember!'
Posted: 05/02/2011 02:39:13 PM PDT
Updated: 05/03/2011 10:52:00 AM PDT
OAKLAND, CA -- A man who worked in a liquor store that Yusuf Bey IV and members of Your Black Muslim Bakery vandalized in November 2005 answered "I don't remember" more than 50 times Monday when a prosecutor asked him about the attack. Ehab Taha claimed he couldn't even remember what city the West Oakland store, New York Market, was in. Taha, dressed in a white shirt and jeans, was expected to be a minor witness in the case, but his testimony Monday became almost comedic as he stared at the courtroom's high ceiling and answered "I don't remember" and occasionally "I'm not sure" to Krum's repeated questions. "Isn't it true that you're feigning memory loss so you don't have to testify?" Krum asked. "No," Taha answered.
"I don't remember what I had for breakfast this morning," Taha said in response to one of prosecutor Melissa Krum's questions. "I have a lot of memory loss." Krum called him to the stand in Bey IV and co-defendant Antoine Mackey's triple-murder trial to show jurors that bakery followers were organized in a military like structure with Bey IV at the top. But Krum said that Taha told her before testifying that he feared appearing in court. "Didn't you tell me, 'I'm not going to risk my life for this?' " Krum asked him. "I don't remember," the 26-year-old replied.
Later, a recording showed Taha telling police how he was beaten bloody during the attack and how the assailants stole a sawed-off shotgun from the store. Bey IV and Mackey are charged with the 2007 killings of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men. The detective who interviewed Taha about the attack, Sgt. Dominique Arotzarena, took the stand and Krum played the recording of the two talking about the crime. Bey IV pleaded no contest to several felony charges in the liquor store attack. He and others involved said it was a protest over liquor sales in their neighborhood. They also attacked another store the same night.
Another bakery follower, Devaughndre Broussard, has testified he killed Bailey with the shotgun stolen from Taha at Bey IV's order and that Mackey helped him. Broussard also told the jury of seven women and five men that he killed another man, Odell Roberson, also at Bey IV's order and that Bey IV and Mackey bragged about shooting to death a third man, Michael Wills.
Judge Thomas Reardon later described him as "willfully evasive." Krum said he may be recalled to the stand and Mackey's lawyer said it was clear he was "woefully lying" to the jury. But Reardon rejected Mackey's lawyer's motion for a mistrial based on Krum's question about whether Taha told her that testifying made him fear for his life. "That crosses the line," his attorney said of the question, calling it extremely unfair to the defendants. Mackey was not a bakery follower when the attacks occurred and his attorney has repeatedly objected to Krum's use of other crimes to illustrate her theory that Bey IV ordered followers to commit crimes. "The jury can't help but be prejudiced," Mackey's lawyer said.
That Krum basically told jurors that Taha told her he feared for his life "created a degree of gravity that there are ongoing and current threats," Bey IV's lawyer said in joining Mackey's motion. Last week, a man who admitted taking part in the vandalism, Dyamen Williams, testified that he could not remember if Bey IV participated, nor could he recall the names of anyone else involved.
May 2, 2011
This story begins with a journalist murdered in Oakland, Calif., presumably because of a story he was working on. His name was Chauncey Bailey, and just this past week he was honored posthumously with the George Polk Award - one of journalism's most prestigious honors - for the story that may have cost him his life. The story Bailey was working on was about, of all things, a bakery. But not any ordinary bakery: it's called "Your Black Muslim Bakery," and as media sources reports, it was once a multi-million-dollar business as well as a major religious and political power in Oakland.
But the bakery's leaders were known for using tactics right out of "The Godfather." Bailey was investigating some of those tactics, which made some bakery leaders angry. And angering the bakery was risky business, as Oakland police knew all too well.
Transcript: Devaughndre Broussard interview
"Rumors about them killing people or, forcing them to do stuff that they didn't want to do, was rampant throughout the community," Assistant Chief Howard Jordan remembers. "People were scared to talk. People were scared to call the police."
Jordan has been an Oakland cop for 19 years. He says Your Black Muslim Bakery was on police radar for a long time. It looks harmless enough on the outside, but at its height, the bakery employed about 200 people, many of them ex-convicts, who converted to Islam. And some of them didn't seem to spend too much time in the kitchen. Your Black Muslim Bakery opened its doors in Oakland more than 30 years ago, selling bean pies and fish sandwiches. It was started by a man who called himself Yusuf Bey, a black Muslim who preached a philosophy of self-reliance and self-esteem.
Over the years, the bakery provided jobs and hope to hundreds of African-Americans in Oakland's inner city. But the positive outward image of the bakery never told the whole story. Inside the building, there were some very sinister things going on. "It doesn't seem like many folks at the bakery were baking too many pies. It seemed to have just become a criminal enterprise," Cooper remarks. "That's a fairly accurate statement," Jordan agrees. "It went from a business that was conducting legitimate business to a business interested in doing fraud, real estate fraud, assaults, robberies, vandalism, to promote a criminal cause versus a religious cause."
But in 2002, bakery founder Yusuf Bey was arrested on 27 counts of abusing and raping 12 and 13-year-old girls taken in by the bakery. He was accused of fathering children by them, and of stealing their welfare payments.According to many reports, Bey fathered more than 40 children by different women at the bakery. As the Bey family, and its business, grew, they opened a dozen stores and owned a security company, a dry cleaner, a school, and properties in the area. In the process, the bakery became something of a law unto itself.
"A lot of Oakland cops told me that they left certain neighborhoods to the Bey family," says reporter Chris Thompson. "Let them take care of business however they wanted?" Cooper asks. "Yeah," Thompson says. Thompson revealed the bakery's secrets in the East Bay Express, a weekly paper. He exposed a trail of "violence, brutality and fraud that stretches back almost a decade."
Words Can Hurt!
OAKLAND — “Take him out.” “I did what I had to do.” “That will teach them to (expletive) with me.” Jurors were told Wednesday that former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV said those things about the slaying of journalist Chauncey Bailey. Bey IV’s lawyer, however, tried to discredit the statements by questioning the validity of the people who claimed to have heard them.
Jurors heard a tape of a statement Bey IV’s former girlfriend gave to police the day after Bailey was slain, as well as testimony from a prosecutor who investigated Bailey’s death. In both instances, jurors heard evidence indicating that Bey IV was satisfied with Bailey’s death. On the tapes, the former girlfriend, Sheavon Williams, told detectives that Bey IV appeared angry over Bailey’s pending story in the Oakland Post about the bakery’s troubled finances. She told police that Bey IV huddled with Mackey late the night before the killing and reminded Mackey to wake him up at 5 a.m. Later that day, she said, Bey IV called her over to a television in his bathroom where a news report of Bailey’s killing was being broadcast. “That will teach them to (expletive) with us,” she said Bey IV told her.
The tape was followed by testimony from Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lamiero, who presented evidence two years ago to a grand jury that indicted Bey IV and Mackey for the deaths of Bailey, Roberson and Wills. Lamiero described a January 2010 interview he had with a former bakery follower named Dawud Bey, also known as Dwight Smith. Dawud Bey said Bey IV told him that Bailey was writing “slanderous” stories and “I did what I had to do,” Lamiero testified. Asked whether Dawud Bey said Bey IV used the word “kill” to describe what he ordered, Lamiero said the phrase “take him out” was quoted to him.
Dawud Bey, when asked about those comments earlier in the trial, denied that Bey IV said them, saying he was telling Lamiero what he thought happened to Bailey. But Lamiero told jurors that Dawud Bey was quoting Bey IV directly.
Under cross examination by Bey IV’s lawyer, Lamiero said the phrase had been written in a report by the inspector working with him as, “Bey IV did what he had to do.” That was because Dawud Bey was both reciting the quote and endorsing the action, Lamiero said. “Didn’t Dawud Bey provide you with a conclusion?” He asked Lamiero. “No. These were things said by Bey IV,” Lamiero replied. Lamiero said Dawud Bey also said the bakery leader offered to provide him with a false identity with a high credit rating through which he “could buy houses and cars without a job.”
OAKLAND — Jurors in the Chauncey Bailey murder trial have finished watching a 62-minute video secretly recorded in a jail cell of former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV laughing about bloodshed, plotting how to escape charges in criminal cases and threatening to sanction murders. Defense lawyers wrangled again with Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon on Tuesday morning, attempting to limit the recording’s impact.
Bey IV’s co-defendant, Antoine Mackey, was not part of the recording and his lawyer convinced Reardon to admonish jurors that they could consider the video against Mackey only in the sense of how Bey IV ordered others to do his bidding. Reardon placed no restriction on how jurors can consider the evidence against Bey IV, who is facing triple-murder charges along with Mackey in connection with Bailey’s death and the deaths of two other men in the summer of 2007.
The video was secretly made by police as Bey IV and two of his followers, Tamon Halfin and Joshua Bey, waited in a San Leandro Police Department interrogation room after their arrest on an unrelated torture and kidnapping case. Jurors followed on transcripts as the video was played on a large screen television about 25 feet in front of them. A few looked up at the screen and occasionally grimaced, but otherwise didn’t react.
Bey IV, his head bowed, read a transcript as he was shown on the screen laughing about Bailey’s murder and saying, “Pow, pow, poof!” and throwing his head back to mimic the fatal shotgun blasts bakery follower Devaughndre Broussard fired at Bailey on Aug. 2, 2007.
Broussard testified two weeks ago that Bey IV ordered Bailey killed to stop him from writing about the bakery’s troubled finances in the Oakland Post. Broussard also said Bey IV ordered him to kill another man, Odell Roberson, and that Mackey helped him with both slayings. Mackey is also accused of killing a third man, Michael Wills, also on Bey IV’s order.
Bey IV and Mackey, both 25, have pleaded not guilty; they face life in prison without parole if convicted. Broussard is to receive a 25-year sentence for testifying against them.
Prosecutor Melissa Krum contended Tuesday that the video shows Bey IV’s “enormous ego” and a consciousness of guilt in both the Bailey murder and in an unrelated kidnapping and torture case in which Bey IV has been charged. Reardon is letting her argue facts from the latter to show Bey IV’s desperation to save the bakery from bankruptcy and the willingness of followers to follow his orders.
On the video, Bey IV:
–Suggested that a police officer who broke up the May 2007 torture of a woman might be killed to keep him from testifying. “We got some crazy (expletive) hitters out there.”
–Told Halfin and Joshua Bey they could avoid conviction in the kidnapping case by staying silent because the victim didn’t see her masked attackers’ faces and because they put a bag over her head.
–Suggested that then-Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums would do whatever Bey IV wanted of him out of fear following Bailey’s killing.
–Said his followers might kill an unidentified person “next,” a reference that Reardon said could be taken to mean Bey IV killed before.
–Laughed about Bailey’s corpse “being fat now, all stuffed up,” an apparent reference to decomposition.
–Said he prefers shotguns because pellets fired from those weapons “can’t be traced.”
–Told Halfin and Joshua Bey to speak in a code by using words with the opposite meaning of what they were trying to communicate. “If I say something is fine, that really means it’s all (expletive) up,” Bey IV said.
Lawyers spent most of Tuesday afternoon with Reardon arguing over what could be shown to jurors and what should be cut from the original recording, which was more than two hours long. They agreed to cut repeated references to a 2005 vehicular assault case against Bey IV in San Francisco, and a few references to Mackey, who was referred to as “Ali” on the tape.
But Krum fought hard to keep much of the recording before the jury. When Bey’s lawyer tried to strike his client’s comments about Bailey being “stuffed up,” she said to Reardon, “Stuffed up with what? Lead? Formaldehyde?” Reardon agreed the remark could remain. When testimony resumes in the afternoon, Krum is expected question Joshua Bey about the video. He sat in a witness stand in a red-and-white jail jumpsuit watching as it was played for the jury.
"[Did what I] had to do[.]"
Posted: 04/12/2011 01:30:30 PM PDT
Updated: 04/13/2011 12:29:58 PM PDT
OAKLAND, CA -- Yusuf Bey IV told one of his followers shortly after the shooting death of Chauncey Bailey that the journalist "slandered" Your Black Muslim Bakery and Bey IV bragged he did what he "had to do," a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday. With the follower, Dawud Bey, also known as Dwight Smith, on the stand, Deputy District Attorney Melissa Krum asked him if he gave a statement to investigators in which he said Bey IV told him he had Bailey killed.
"They twisted up my words," Dawud Bey answered. "I was just giving my opinion."
Krum then read jurors a report prepared by another prosecutor, Christopher Lamiero, and an inspector, Michael Foster, after they interviewed Dawud Bey while investigating Bailey's murder.
"You didn't tell them Yusuf Bey IV told you, 'I did what I had to do?' " Krum said, waving the report.
"No," answered Dawud Bey, 23. "That was just my opinion."
"So your opinion is that Bey IV had (Bailey) killed because he had to. Is that what you're saying?" Krum asked.
"Yeah," the witness responded.
When Bey IV's lawyer objected to an opinion being stated as fact, Judge Thomas Reardon let the answer stand. Reardon said Krum "intends to present other witnesses who will testify" that Dawud Bey made the statement as a fact and was quoting Bey IV directly. Dawud Bey's statement is the first time a second person corroborated the account from Devaughndre Broussard, Bailey's confessed killer, who said Bey IV ordered the journalist killed to stop him from writing an article about the bakery in the Oakland Post. Bey IV, 25, has pleaded not guilty to ordering the death and his attorney has said Broussard was lying when he testified Bey IV sanctioned the murder. Bey IV is also charged with ordering the killings of two other men, Odell Roberson and Michael Wills. His co-defendant, Antoine Mackey, 25, is charged with killing Wills and helping Broussard kill Bailey and Roberson.
Dawud Bey spent about two hours on the stand Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. He described himself as a Black Muslim "warrior" and said the bakery "still lives on in my heart. The bakery was a beautiful place. It brought truth to our people." He testified that Bey IV was the bakery's commanding officer and required followers to salute him as if they were in the military.
Krum spent about 20 minutes asking him about Bey IV's teachings about "white devils." Broussard has testified that Bey IV and Mackey bragged they killed Wills in July 2007 because he was white, saying they boasted they "got a devil." "All whites are devils by nature," Dawud Bey said on the stand. African-Americans, he said, are not devils by nature but can become them through their actions. Some whites, he said, can stop being devils if they are kind and helpful to blacks. References to white devils "came up a lot" around the bakery and in Bey IV's sermons, he said. Asked about Black Muslims who had killed whites believing they are devils, he said, "that's a good thing in my opinion. They are brothers who do what they have to do. If you are confronted by chaos, you have to stand up and do what is right." As he left court after finishing his testimony, Dawud Bey paused briefly in front of several members of the Bey family in the audience, raised his hands palm up, and bowed.
Also Tuesday, the father of a man convicted of killing Bey IV's older brother, Antar Bey, in 2005 testified that he saw people he knew as bakery followers drive by his house numerous times after his son's arrest for the slaying. Broussard testified that Bey IV wanted the man, Alfonza Phillips Sr., killed as retribution for Antar Bey's death; Alfonza Phillips Jr. was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole in December 2007. But Broussard said he was never able to find Phillips Sr., so he said Bey IV eventually told him to kill another relative, Roberson. Phillips Sr., a retired postal worker, said he frequently saw men from the bakery driving past his house in a black BMW with vanity plates that read "DR. BEY."
"They were staring at me like I am supposed to run," Phillips said. "I just stood there. Here I am. It wasn't the same person every day.
In afternoon testimony, a man with a record of drug and gun crimes told jurors that Bey IV approached him for a loan "to save the bakery" in 2007 but the man instead helped set up what became a botched kidnapping and robbery of a woman. The man, Albert "Johnny" Antone, was flown in to testify from an undisclosed state where he awaiting trial on gun charges. Bey IV, he said, was dating one of his daughters. Shortly before Bey IV asked him for money, Antone said he had been the victim of a home invasion robbery where men posing as police officers took $85,000 in cash and jewelry worth more than $150,000. He said he "heard on the street" that a woman to whom he sometimes sold cocaine set him up. So rather than lend Bey IV money, he suggested robbing the woman. Bey IV could keep the money and Antone would get her drugs, Antone testified. He said he also urged Bey IV to rob one of his rival drug dealers.
On May 17, 2007, Antone said he saw the woman's car at an East Oakland bingo parlor and called Bey IV. Eventually, five bakery members were charged with kidnapping and torturing the woman in a failed attempt to learn where the rival kept drugs and money. Two of Bey IV half brothers, Yusuf Bey V and Joshua Bey, took plea deals. A bakery follower, Richard Lewis, was convicted and sentenced to life without parole. Bey IV and another man, Taom Halfin, have yet to be tried in the case.
Krum has built much of her case on the premise that Bey IV was desperate for money to save the bakery from bankruptcy. Killing Bailey, she said in her opening statement, was an extension of those efforts, because he feared anything that Bailey wrote might impact his ability to borrow money. He also thought the murder would intimidate lenders who would then not turn him down.
Antone said he asked Bey IV not to hurt the woman "because I wasn't hurt and no one in my house was hurt" when he was robbed. The woman, who testified at Lewis' trial, has not been identified by name because she was tortured. Antone received a grant of immunity in the kidnapping and torture case to testify in the murder case.
As court ended for the day, Krum told Reardon that an unidentified man used two fingers as if they were a gun and gestured twice as if firing two shots at Antone has he left the courtroom. A district attorney's inspector also saw the hand motion.
Reardon expressed concern. "If it was intimidation, then I need to do something about it," he said, adding that he would ask his bailiffs to investigate.