Bakery leader and 3 associates plead not guilty in kidnap-torture
By Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — Former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and three co-defendants pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of kidnapping and torturing two women last year.
Bey IV, 22, his half-brother Yusuf Bey V, 21, Richard Lewis, 24, and Tamon Halfin, 21, were scheduled to again appear before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson on Oct. 3. All are being held without bail.
A fifth defendant, Joshua Bey, 21, pleaded guilty to reduced charges earlier this year and has agreed to testify against the others.
The women, who have not been publicly identified, told police that on May 17, 2007, five men used what looked like flashing police lights to pull their car over on Interstate 580 and took them to an abandoned house in East Oakland. Halfin is accused of holding one of the women at gunpoint in a car, while the others are accused of taking the other woman inside the house and beating her, demanding she tell them where her boyfriend hid an unknown amount of cash.
A police officer on patrol in the neighborhood stopped to investigate and rescued the woman as the suspects fled.
After the defendants were charged months later, police recorded Bey IV, Halfin and Joshua Bey discussing the case in a holding cell. Bey IV said on the recording that he would have the police officer killed to prevent his testimony.
Reach Thomas Peele at 510-208-6458 or firstname.lastname@example.org.