The first-degree murder convictions of former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and an associate in the killing of journalist Chauncey Bailey in Oakland in 2007 were upheld by a state appeals court in San Francisco today.
Bey, now 28, and Antoine Mackey, 28, were convicted in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland in 2011 and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
Bailey, 57, the editor of the Oakland Post, was gunned down near the corner of 14th and Alice Streets in Oakland on the morning of Aug. 2, 2007.
Prosecutors said Bey ordered the murder because Bailey was writing an article about the bakery’s financial problems and had previously written about child molestation charges faced by Bey’s father, bakery founder Yusuf Bey Sr., at the time of his death in 2003.
The shooter was a third man, bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard, 26. In a plea bargain, he pleaded guilty to two counts of the voluntary manslaughter of Bailey and another man and became the chief prosecution witness against Bey and Mackey. Broussard was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Mackey helped Broussard rehearse the shooting and drove him to and from the street corner where he shot Bailey, Broussard testified.
In a 106-page ruling, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal turned down a series of appeal claims by Bey and Mackey, including an argument that the trial should have been moved out of Alameda County because of extensive pretrial publicity about the case in newspapers, on television and on the Internet.
The panel upheld trial judge Thomas Reardon’s conclusion that it was possible to select an unbiased jury and said Reardon had addressed the issue in a “methodical and comprehensive way” during jury selection.
“Although there was a great deal of negative pretrial publicity, defendants were not denied a fair trial,” Justice James Richman wrote.
Bey was also convicted of two other first-degree murder charges for ordering the slayings of Odell Roberson Jr. and Michael Willis in July 2007. Mackey was convicted in Willis’s murder.
Reardon sentenced Bey to a total of three life terms without parole and Mackey to two life terms without parole.
The bakery was in bankruptcy proceedings at the time Bailey was killed and closed its doors later in 2007.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News