Getaway driver in Bailey slaying has long criminal history
By Thomas Peele, Bob Butler and Mary Fricker, The Chauncey Bailey Project
Antoine Arelus Mackey, who is expected to be charged as soon as today with murder in the killing of journalist Chauncey Bailey, has a long criminal history that began with his conviction at 13 for forcing a girl to perform oral sex and includes a weapons conviction.
Evidence has long pointed to Mackey as the getaway driver in Bailey’s slaying. He also is to face murder charges in the killings of Odell Roberson and Michael Wills in July 2007.
Confessed killer Devaughndre Broussard told prosecutors in March that former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV ordered him and Mackey to “do their homework” on Bailey and “take him out.”
Story: Grand jury votes to indict bakery leader in killing of Oakland journalist
KTVU-TV: Bey IV to be indicted for Bailey murder
Sidebar: Yusuf Bey IV discusses religious beliefs in jail calls
Sidebar: Getaway driver in Bailey slaying has long criminal history
Timeline: Path to indictment
PDF: Affidavit in support of request for a warrant to search Your Black Muslim Bakery
PDF: Indictment document
Mackey’s was known at the bakery as “Ali.” He was Bey IV’s driver and a member of his entourage. He was convicted last year of burglary charges in Alameda County and sentenced to two years in state prison.
Mackey, Broussard said, drove a white minivan the morning of Aug. 2, 2007, when the two hunted Bailey. While Broussard got out near 14th and Alice streets and shot Bailey three times with a sawed-off shotgun, allegedly Mackey kept the van idling nearby.
The Chauncey Bailey Project reported last year that records showed that Bey IV and Mackey’s cell phones were connected within minutes of Bailey’s killing – a key fact that Oakland Police did not document in the investigation.
Mackey twice denied in brief interviews with the Bailey Project having anything to do with killing.
In a jail phone call taped in November, he told relatives news accounts of his possible involvement in the killing made him “look like a crazy person to the public. They associating my name with something I don’t know nothing about. It’s harassment.”
In other calls, Mackey lamented that he was jailed for burglary rather than a more serious crime, calling himself a serious “gansta” who takes what he wants from people.
He also expressed a fascination with firearms, saying a relative had shown him a Tec-9 assault weapon when he was a child and he liked it because the bullets “come out real fast. Bbbbrrrrrttttt.”
Broussard said Mackey went with him on Bey IV’s order to kill Roberson. Broussard also said Mackey told him he shot Wills, who was white, because he wanted to kill a “devil.”
When police raided the bakery 22 hours after Bailey’s killing, Mackey was arrested for possession of a different shotgun. He refused to speak to investigators about Bailey, wasn’t charged, and released. He quickly fled California for Georgia, where his mother lived.
Mackey returned to the Bay Area in 2008. He was arrested on burglary charges in San Lenadro, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in state prison.
Police in San Francisco describe Mackey as a “wannabe” gang member eager to prove his worthiness on the street.
“I don’t think he has a great respect for life,” said a San Francisco officer familiar with Mackey and who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to talk to reporters.
“Mackey wanted to be a leader (in San Francisco) but there were a lot of people over here who were more serious bad guys,” the officer said. But he also said that Mackey’s apparent ambition to move up within criminal organizations made him frighteningly ruthless.
The officer said that if he walked into a room with Mackey and others and found he needed to defend his life, he’d instinctively shoot Mackey first because of his dangerous demeanor.
Mackey was arrested four times in San Francisco between 2005 and 2007 on charges that included attempted murder, assault with a semi-automatic rifle, assaulting a police officer. He pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and was placed on three years probation. It is unclear how the other charges were adjudicated.
In 2001, he was stabbed on a San Francisco school bus and nearly died. In 2002, he was shot six times in the city’s Hunters Point. His mother sued the city of San Francisco on his behalf, claiming that a bus driver refused to let her son on a bus as gunmen were pursuing him. The lawsuit was thrown out.
In a deposition in that suit taken in 2005, Mackey said he suffered from short term memory loss from being shot in the head and “ongoing pain and nerve damage.”
He added, “I hate what they did to my life. I’m very antisocial…I just got to live my life different like.”
In a phone call with friends recorded last year, Mackey said he planned to go back to Georgia when he is released on the burglary charge. “I am going to go to college at Georgia State,” he said.
He told his friends he’d also return to San Francisco as soon he was done being “tied up” in prison.
“I’ll be right back,” he said.