Witness points out suspect at Bey slaying trial
By Paul T. Rosynsky, Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — The driver of a minivan who witnessed the 2005 shooting of Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Antar Bey pointed at defendant Alfonza Phillips in court Tuesday and said he was the one who pulled the trigger.
Testifying during Bey’s murder trial, Daryl Flood, the owner of a janitorial service, said for the first time Tuesday that he could positively identify Phillips because the incident “wakes me up at night.”
“When I saw his face I realized that it is the guy I saw that night and that is that,” Flood said. “I’m not trying to pin anything on anyone; I know that is who I saw that night.”
But Flood never told police at the scene of the crime nor in the months after the killing that he could positively identify Phillips. Flood also admitted in court that he saw Phillips last year in shackles sporting an Alameda County Jail jumpsuit before he realized Phillips was the man he saw shooting Bey.
Also Tuesday, the jury heard testimony indicating police originally suspected that Your Black Muslim Bakery was involved in the shooting, but quickly decided the evidence pointed toward a failed carjacking. With Sgt. Robert Nolan on the witness stand, Deputy District Attorney Colleen McMahon asked if the police had looked at other suspects before evidence pointing toward Phillips was collected.
“That (the bakery) is a place where suspects come from,” Nolan said. “There had been other shootings and murders associated with Your Black Muslim Bakery.” The answer resulted in a discussion, without the jury present, between Public Defender Leonard Ulfelder, Judge Jon Rolefson and McMahon.
Rolefson had ruled before the trial began that Ulfelder could not introduce the idea that a third party was responsible for the crime because there was not enough evidence to support the theory.
But Ulfelder argued Tuesday that Nolan’s answer opened the door for such questions.
“I’m not going to permit you to go into why he would consider the bakery family members,” the judge said. “The purpose of asking (that question) is that he was not focused on just one suspect.”
But Flood’s testimony was the most dramatic of the day. His testimony differed in some respects from what he testified during a preliminary hearing last year.
Flood said he initially believed the man who shot Bey was wearing a black beanie or hat. Surveillance video of the scene shows a man without a hat walking up to Bey before the former bakery leader was killed.
Flood admitted that he wanted to cooperate with the District Attorney’s Office in solving the case and refused to talk to investigators from the Public Defender’s Office.
Asked why he refused to talk to the Public Defender’s Office but was willing to speak with D.A. investigators, Flood replied, “Because that is who I am cooperating with.
“I want to help out,” he said.
Flood began to help out with the investigation just minutes after Bey was killed.
On Oct. 25, 2005, Flood was waiting at a traffic light on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and 55th Street in North Oakland when he noticed a “very attractive” black BMW 745i parked at a gas station about 75 feet in front and to the right of his minivan.
As he was admiring the car, he saw a man approach Bey, who was speaking on a cell phone just behind the BMW, Flood said. A second later, he saw the man pull out a gun and point it at Bey, Flood said.
At that point, Flood said he turned around to wake up his employee, who was sleeping in the back of the minivan.
“Just as I turned around, Pow!,” Flood said as he described what he heard and saw. “I see the guy stumble and fall; the other guy jumps into the car.”
Flood said his first reaction was to put his car in reverse and drive away. Flood said he thought the shooter might head toward his car so he wanted to leave the scene.
“I just saw him shoot that guy and I though he might come and do something to us,” Flood said. “I put my car in reverse.”
The shooter ran the opposite way and Flood drove his car to the gas station to see if he could help Bey.
As he approached, Flood said he saw Bey lying on his stomach with blood seeping from his body.
“I told him to just hold on and we are going to call the paramedics,” Flood said. “I told him don’t worry, help was on the way, just hold on.”
Flood said Bey’s eyes were open as he talked to him.
Flood was interviewed by police officers at the scene and later that night by detectives at the department’s homicide division at police headquarters.
But at no time did Flood ever tell police he could identify the shooter, and some of the details he described Tuesday differed from the details he described during the preliminary hearing.
Flood had difficulty estimating the distance from his car to the scene of the shooting. He also had problems describing how he was able to see the shooter’s face.
On Tuesday, Flood said he saw the shooter’s face both before and after the shooting; during the preliminary hearing, however, he said he could not see the shooter’s face after the shooting.
Nevertheless, Flood said he would never testify that Phillips was the shooter unless he was positive.
“If I wasn’t positively sure, I wouldn’t be here,” he said.