Suspect in journalist’s death ‘admitted involvement’ on tape
By Paul T. Rosynsky, Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — Devaughndre Broussard, the Your Black Muslim Bakery handyman accused of killing Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey, “admitted involvement” in the slaying during a taped conversation with a relative, Deputy District Attorney John Jay said Monday.
The conversation occurred in jail where Broussard is being held on murder charges. It is unclear if the conversation was made on a telephone or during visitation hours; however, it is standard procedure at Alameda County jails to record all telephone calls and conversations between inmates and visitors.
The revelation of the tape and Broussard’s comments came after Jay and LeRue Grim, Broussard’s attorney, met in court Monday to discuss a preliminary hearing set for Wednesday.Broussard, 20, is charged with murder in connection with the Aug. 2 shooting death of Bailey, 57.
Police said Broussard confessed to the killing after he was arrested Aug. 3 in an unrelated raid on the bakery, but Broussard later recanted that confession.
Jay told Grim beforehand that he would play the jail house tape during Wednesday’s preliminary hearing and would also play Broussard’s taped confession to police. Jay also plans to call witnesses who saw the shooting and possibly a medical examiner, Grim said.Grim confirmed Monday that there is a tape but said he has yet to listen to it and is not sure about the context of the conversation. “I have to hear it and see what it really means,” Grim said. “He might have been talking about a false confession or something like that.”Jay refused to discuss details of the taped jailhouse conversation.
“I can’t go into exactly what was on the tape,” he said. “We are going to attempt to introduce a taped conversation where (Broussard) admitted involvement.”
But Grim said he believes the conversation is between Broussard and his father during a visit to the jail.
“(Jay) claims that Broussard told his father that he ‘did it,'” Grim said of the tape.
Grim said Broussard could have been discussing anything in the tape, including an admission that he took the fall for the murder to protect the bakery.
“I don’t know (what it was about),” Grim said. “We are going to find out.”
Police said Broussard told them he killed the journalist because of negative stories Bailey was working on about the bakery. Broussard called himself a “good soldier” during the taped confession and said he decided to help the bakery by killing Bailey.
But Grim has questioned the confession and argued it was false. Grim said Broussard told him he was asked to take the blame for the killing by bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV, 21, who also is being held in jail for an unrelated kidnapping and torture case. In fact, police allowed Broussard and Bey IV to talk privately in an interview room before Broussard confessed to police. The conversation between Broussard and Bey IV was not taped.
The police investigation into Bailey’s killings has come under unusual scrutiny because it was a murder of a journalist and because Grim has released hundreds of pages of documents detailing the actions police have taken. Those documents include police reports, taped conversations and notes taken by police detectives during interviews with bakery members. The release of the documents has raised questions about the Oakland Police Department and its investigative tactics, especially its refusal to record entire interviews between officers, suspects and witnesses.