Prosecutors will not seek death penalty in slaying of journalist and two others
By Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — Prosecutors have decided not to seek the death penalty against former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and another man for their alleged involvement in the 2007 killing of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men, a lawyer said Friday.
The decision was disclosed in the chambers of Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson during a meeting of lawyers involved in the case, said attorney Duffy Carolan, who was present. Carolan represents the Chauncey Bailey Project, which is seeking to have grand jury transcripts in the case unsealed and a provisional gag order lifted.
A grand jury returned murder indictments with special circumstances against Bey IV and Antoine A. Mackey last month, making them eligible for the death penalty. Carolan said Assistant District Attorney Christopher Lamiero spoke of the decision during the meeting with Jacobson.
CBS5-TV: Death penalty won’t be sought against Yusuf Bey IV
Lamiero is under a gag order in the case. So are Bey IV’s two lawyers, Anne Beles and Lorna Brown, and Mackey’s lawyer, Gary Sirbu. The order does not apply to Carolan.
“Lamiero said a committee met and the decided there will be no death penalty,” Carolan said. Nothing was said about the decision in open court Friday when Bey IV and Mackey made brief appearances.
Jacobson postponed the arraignment of each for the third time. Arraignments are now scheduled for June 18, the same day as a hearing on a motion by the Chauncey Bailey Project to unseal grand jury testimony and lift the gag order.
Bey IV is charged with three counts of murder for allegedly ordering the killing of Bailey and two other men, Odell Roberson and Michael Wills. Mackey is charged with allegedly shooting Wills and helping a third defendant, Devaughndre Broussard, kill Bailey and Roberson.
Broussard pleaded guilty earlier this month to two counts of voluntary manslaughter, admitting he killed Roberson and Bailey. In exchange for his grand jury testimony and promise to also testify at trial, he is receive a sentence of 25 years.
Broussard was one of 15 witnesses who testified before the grand jury. The Chauncey Bailey Project, a consortium of news organizations and journalism nonprofits, will argue next month that the grand jury transcript be unsealed, Carolan said.
The transcript “is something the public should have access to. It’s the only way for the public to understand if the state entered into a good deal” with Broussard, he said.
Bey IV’s lawyers oppose the motion.
Broussard told Lamiero in a five-hour interview that precluded his grand jury testimony that Bey IV ordered him to kill Bailey to stop him from reporting on the bakery’s finances in the Oakland Post. Broussard said Roberson was killed because he was related to the man convicted of killing Bey IV’s older brother.
Mackey accompanied Broussard to both killings, Broussard said, and also admitted to shooting Wills at Bey’s order.
Broussard was the only person charged in the Bailey killing for nearly 20 months until he agreed to testify against the others. Bey IV had been recorded while in custody saying that the Oakland Police detective assigned to the Bailey case, Sgt. Derwin Longmire, was protecting him from murder charges.
A joint administrative investigation by the Oakland Police Internal Affairs Division and the State Justice Department found Longmire compromised the investigation. The police department is in the process of firing him.
You can reach reporter Thomas Peele at email@example.com