Informant says suspect in Bey’s death boasted of slaying
The man accused of killing Your Black Muslim Bakery leader’s Antar Bey bragged about it afterward, informant tells court.
By Paul T. Rosynsky, Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — A self-described career criminal, drug addict and frequent informant for the Oakland Police Department said in court Thursday the man accused of killing Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Antar Bey in 2005 bragged about it afterwards.
The informant said Alfonza Phillips told him he killed Bey at a 76 Union gas station on Martin Luther King Way because he wanted the $5,000 rims that outfitted Bey’s BMW 745i.
“I asked him did you do it and he said ‘Yeah, I did it,'” the informant said. “He was bragging about it. He was like, ‘So what, I did it.’ All nonchalant. Boasting and bragging.”
The informant said he asked Phillips about the event after he heard from a member of the Loony Toons gang Phillips was the man who killed Bey.
Phillips had been staying at the informant’s house and had relations with a family member, the informant said. The Oakland Tribune has agreed to a request by Deputy District Attorney Colleen McMahon not to name the informant for fear of retribution against him in jail.
The informant said he decided to tell police about the conversation he had with Phillips because, “the guy that got killed didn’t deserve to die.”
“I had seen him on TV a few times preaching, he pulled up to the gas station to get him some gas and he got killed for nothing,” the informant said of Bey. “That is something you shouldn’t do, why would you kill someone?”
But the informant’s lofty ideals in turning Phillips in were scrutinized by Phillip’s attorney, Leonard Ulfelder, who questioned the informant’s motives for giving police information.
Under questioning from Ulfelder, the informant, who is currently facing 25 years to life in prison for a string of armed robberies, admitted he feared for his family’s safety after the incident and thought he might be able to get a more lenient punishment if he cooperated with the current investigation.
His initial interview with police in 2005 also came a day after he had a fist fight with Phillips over payment for some Ecstasy the informant gave him to sell. The informant said Phillips never paid him, and the brief fight ended after Phillips ran away.
“I would have made him wish he was dead,” the informant said of the fight had Phillips not run away. “I just slapped him a few times, I didn’t beat him up.”
The informant also said members from Your Black Muslim Bakery were out in the streets looking for the killer and that he was scared his family could be harmed. The informant said he saw “the Muslims” twice — once before he talked with police and once after Phillips was arrested.
“I was scared for my family,” he said. “My life, my family’s life, was in danger.”
At the same time, the informant admitted he would “do anything in the world for his family,” including lying.
In fact, the informant said he always lies to police when he gets caught committing a crime.
“I’m always going to say (I didn’t do it),” the informant said. “I am a criminal.”
The informant said he had a second encounter with bakery members after Phillips was arrested. At that time, a car load of armed bakery leaders came up to him. The informant said he was also armed and pulled out his MAC-90 semiautomatic gun as they approached.
Both sides talked briefly and the informant said the bakery members asked him if he was going to testify.
“They wasn’t playing,” he said of the bakery members. “They came up and asked me about what happened. They asked me if I was going to testify.”
Yet, despite all the possible motives for talking to police about the crime, the informant was adamant he was not lying about Phillips’ confession to him and said he was not getting a deal for his testimony.
“No, it’s not going to get better,” he said. “(Informants) usually get killed.”
Also on Thursday, a fingerprint expert who matched a print found on Bey’s car with that of a fingerprint from Phillips concluded his testimony. Vincent Deitchman, an eight-year member of the Oakland Police Department’s crime lab, said he had found eight unique matching points when he compared the fingerprint patterns found on the BMW with fingerprints taken of Phillips in the past.
Although the fingerprint lifted from the car only represented about 10 percent of an entire print, and eight matching points is relatively few to determine a match, Deitchman said he was 100 percent confident the print from the car was from Phillips’ left middle finger. But under questioning from Ulfelder, Deitchman admitted at least two of the matching points were hard to read, and he probably could not make a positive identification with only six matching points.
The testimony of Deitchman, which began Wednesday afternoon and lasted until Thursday’s lunch break, took jurors through the history of fingerprinting and revealed the intricate details involved when a criminologist attempts to match prints.