Contempt sentencing for bakery member delayed
By Paul T. Rosynsky, Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — A member of Your Black Muslim Bakery charged with contempt of court for refusing to testify against fellow members in a torture and kidnapping case will remain free for at least another month.
Kahil Raheem was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday for his refusal to testify last week during a preliminary hearing, in which bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and three others are accused of using a fake police cruiser to kidnap two women last spring.
Raheem could have agreed Tuesday to testify in the case or face jail time for as long as the torture and kidnapping case remained in court.
Raheem did neither in open court.
Instead, after a more-than-hour-long backroom conversation between Raheem, his attorney Kristina Kliszewski and Deputy District Attorney Scott Patton, Patton asked for any sentence to be delayed until May 23 when the preliminary hearing on the torture-kidnapping case resumes.
It remained unclear if Raheem agreed during the conversation to testify at the trial.
Patton would only say that he is hopeful Raheem will testify when the preliminary hearing continues.
Kliszewski also declined to give specifics.
“We’re just still trying to figure it out,” she said. “At this point, we are just happy he is still out of custody.”
Although Raheem has already told police that Bey IV, 22, called him May 17 — the night of the alleged torture, he refused last week to verify that account on the witness stand.
Patton wants Raheem to testify about the phone call he received and about the filing of a false police report. Raheem told police that Bey IV ordered him to report Bey IV’s Chrysler 300 stolen after it was left at the scene of the crime.
In hopes of winning Raheem’s cooperation, Patton offered the bakery member limited immunity from any crimes allegedly committed in connection to the case, including accessory after the fact and filing a fake police report.
Kliszewski, however, has argued that any admitted association with the bakery by her client on the witness stand could open him up to any other criminal charges that are currently filed against the organization or could be filed in the future.
In addition, last week, Raheem outside of court said he did not want to testify against people he worked with and people he knew. He also said he was worried about who would care for his daughter should he refuse to testify and be sent to jail.
Raheem’s appearance in court Tuesday afternoon was followed by his appearance in the morning in a separate case, in which he and three other bakery members are charged with vandalizing a pair of West Oakland liquor stores two years ago.
In that case, which also involves Bey IV, bakery members are charged with hate crimes for trashing two liquor stores because they sold alcohol to African Americans.
The group appeared in court to have their trial date set, but the decision was delayed. The delay was caused because Bey IV’s attorney Lorna Brown was appointed to a separate case that could take up to nine months to complete.
The group is due back in court next week to see if schedules can be changed, or else Bey IV will need a new attorney.
Contact Paul Rosynsky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-208-6455.