Suspect in Bailey’s death pleads not guilty
By Chris Metinko, Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — The 20-year-old handyman from Your Black Muslim Bakery who confessed to police that he was the gunman in the Aug. 2 daylight slaying of an Oakland journalist entered a not-guilty plea Thursday in an Oakland courtroom. Devaughndre Broussard told police a day after the shooting that he was the gunman in the killing of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey, according to police notes and tape recordings taken during an interview.
“I shot first because I was scared,” the tapes record Broussard as saying, “then I shot again to make sure, then again to be positive.”
However, Broussard later retracted his confession.
Outside court Thursday, Broussard’s attorney, LeRue Grim, again emphasized that he believes the Bailey killing was orchestrated by bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV, 21, and said his client took the fall in trying to be a “good soldier” to his Muslim faith and protect the bakery.
“I really have a doubt in my mind this was an honest confession,” Grim said.
Grim said his client overheard a number of individuals talking at the bakery the night before Oakland Police and other law enforcement agencies raided the Your Black Muslim Bakery headquarters on San Pablo Avenue. Grim said Broussard heard one of the employees talk of killing Bailey — who was working on stories about the bakery’s finances and its internal struggles — and bragging about the killing.
Grim said Broussard has given him the individual’s name and Broussard himself will identify the person during testimony at his preliminary hearing set to begin Nov. 21.
Grim released notes and audio tapes earlier this month from police interviews after they raided the bakery. The more than 140 pages of documents include notes from interviews with Post publisher Paul Cobb and witnesses, as well as Bey IV and bakery members Tamon Halfin, Joshua Bey and Broussard.
All four men were arrested during a raid on the bakery and several bakery members’ homes Aug. 3.
Bey IV, Halfin and Joshua Bey are being held without bail on charges of kidnapping and torturing two women in a
May 17 incident. Bey IV and Halfin are also charged with dozens of felony counts on suspicion of real estate fraud schemes. Broussard is charged with murder.
The notes show that Bey IV, while being interviewed by detectives about the Bailey murder, suggested Broussard was responsible. In separate questioning several hours later, Broussard confessed to police, saying he killed the journalist because he intended to be a “soldier,” the notes said.
In an audio tape of the confession, Broussard said he killed Bailey for the bakery, but “the bakery had nothing to do with it.”
However, at the end of the interview, police asked Broussard if he would intentionally take the fall for the murder.
On the recording, Oakland Police Det. Derwin Longmire asks Broussard: “If you did not do this, would you say that you did it for the bakery?”
Broussard answers, “For the credit?”
Longmire again asks, “If you did not do this crime, would you say that you did it?”
“What, to y’all?” Broussard replies.
“Yes,” Longmire says, to which Broussard answers, “Yes, I would.”
Longmire asks, “OK, did you do this crime?”
After a long pause, Broussard answers, “Yes.”
Grim said Broussard has been told in jail not to be “state evidence” and a “snitch,” but said since his client is facing a lifetime in jail, he is ready to tell the truth about the slaying.
“The trial will be a search for the truth,” said Grim, adding that Broussard does still feel loyal to the bakery and believes his time there helped him grow. In fact, in the audio tapes, Broussard said several times the bakery had nothing do with the shooting and he was not instructed to kill Bailey.
Along with the Nov. 21 preliminary hearing date, a pretrial hearing has been set for Broussard for Nov. 19.
Oakland Tribune staff writer Paul Rosynsky contributed to this report.