Chauncey Bailey Project

Bakery members give up right to second preliminary hearings

Clockwise from upper left:  Yusuf Bey IV, Yusuf Bey V., Tamon Halfin, Richard Lewis (Carrie Ching/CIR)
Clockwise from upper left: Yusuf Bey IV, Yusuf Bey V., Tamon Halfin, Richard Lewis (Carrie Ching/CIR)

Clockwise from upper left: Yusuf Bey IV, Yusuf Bey V., Tamon Halfin, Richard Lewis (Carrie Ching/CIR)

By Paul Rosynsky, The Chauncey Bailey Project

OAKLAND — Three members of the defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery waived their right Tuesday to have a second preliminary hearing on charges that they kidnapped two women and tortured one of them in East Oakland two years ago.

Instead, the three members will proceed directly to a jury trial next month.

A fourth member of the bakery charged in the case, former leader Yusuf Bey IV, who also is expected to be indicted in the killing of Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey, declined to waive his right and is scheduled to be in court next week to begin the second preliminary hearing.

The decisions of Bey IV, 22, and three associates came less than two weeks after a legal technicality temporarily forced a judge to dismiss charges against the bakery members in the kidnapping and torture case.

The case was dismissed based on a court rule that mandates defendants have a preliminary hearing in “one session” unless they waive that right. One session can include multiple days, but they must be consecutive.

In the case of the bakery members, the preliminary hearing lasted several months and was not conducted consecutively. Although no defense attorney objected at the time, new attorneys placed on the case this year realized the defendants had not waived their right for a consecutive hearing.

On Tuesday, three of those attorneys advised their clients to waive their right to a second preliminary hearing, saying outside court that the decision was strategic and intended to quicken the pace of a case that began Aug. 3, 2007, when the four bakery members were arrested.

The defendants who waived their right to a preliminary hearing were Yusuf Bey V, 23; Richard Lewis, 25; and Tamon Halfin, 22.

Meanwhile, Anne Beles, a court-appointed attorney representing Bey IV, said in a prepared statement that she would vigorously defend Bey IV in the kidnapping and torture case and against any indictment that might come from a criminal grand jury.

Devaughndre Broussard, who is charged with murder in Bailey’s killing, told grand jurors Monday that he killed Bailey on the order of Bey IV, and that another man, Antoine Mackey, helped him.

Beles said in a statement that she would not comment on Broussard’s testimony to the grand jury.

“We will not try our case in the media. We respect the press, but it is not the venue in which we choose to argue,” Beles wrote. “We will fight (the kidnapping and torture charges). If other charges present themselves, those will be fought vigorously as well.”

Investigative reporter Thomas Peele contributed to this story. Reach Paul T. Rosynsky at 510-208-6455 or prosynsky@ bayareanewsgroup.com.

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