Bey IV arraignment in journalist’s killing delayed
By Paul T. Rosynsky and Josh Richman, The Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND – Yusuf Bey IV, leader of the now defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery, appeared in court Wednesday on charges that he ordered the killing of Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey and two others, but his case was postponed a week.
Bey IV and co-defendant Antoine Mackey stood still as Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson delayed their arraignment to give each time to find an attorney. Both were referred to the Alameda County Public Defenders office.
Members of Bailey’s family had traveled far to see Bey IV and Mackey arraigned, and voiced disappointment at the delay.
“That’s the justice system,” said Lorelei Waqia of Atlanta, Bailey’s sister. “We just want this over with, and whoever did it to be held responsible.”
Chauncey Bailey Sr., the slain journalist’s father, said it has been “a long journey, waiting on the system.”
Bey IV’s mother, Daulet Bey, was in the courtroom but left after Wednesday’s brief proceeding without making any comment.
A criminal grand jury voted last week to indict Bey IV and Mackey for the killing of Bailey after former bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard, originally charged in the murder of the journalist, took a plea deal in exchange for his testimony against Bey IV and Mackey.
Jacobson on Wednesday granted Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Chris Lamiero’s motion to seal the grand jury transcripts, lest additional publicity compromise the defendants’ right to a fair trial. Jacobson wouldn’t entertain argument Wednesday from the Chauncey Bailey Project’s lawyer, but invited her to file a motion to unseal the transcripts.
The grand jury indicted Bey IV on three counts of murder for allegedly ordering Broussard and Mackey to kill Bailey before he could publish a story in the Oakland Post about financial problems at the bakery; for telling the same pair to kill Odell Roberson for retribution because Roberson’s nephew killed Bey IV’s brother; and telling Mackey to kill Michael Wills, a white man, because, according to Broussard’s statement to prosecutors, he was “a devil.”
Bey IV was also indicted on a charge of ordering the shooting of a car Dec. 7, 2006. The owner of the car was the father of a bakery woman’s children.
Mackey was indicted on three counts of murder for allegedly accompanying Broussard to the Bailey killing and serving as his driver; for helping Broussard lure Roberson to a dark corner and providing the assault rifle Broussard used to kill him; and for shooting Wills at Bey IV’s order. Broussard said Mackey later bragged to him about killing Wills, likening himself to the cartoon character Elmer Fudd who was often portrayed hunting Bugs Bunny.
Broussard was indicted on two murder counts in the killings of Bailey and Roberson. He’s scheduled to be arraigned Thursday; his plea deal reportedly calls for him to plead guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and accept a sentence of about 25 years in prison.