Bailey’s confessed killer says he turned against Bey IV who abandoned him
OAKLAND — Journalist Chauncey Bailey’s confessed killer told jurors Monday he turned against his friends and cooperated with authorities in the murder trial because he was hurt and felt abandoned following his arrest for the shooting, saying, “No one came to holler at me.”
“They broke the contract we had,” Devaughndre Broussard said of former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and bakery member Antoine Mackey. Broussard is the prosecution’s key witness against the men, who are facing triple-murder charges in connection with Bailey’s death and that of two other men.
Monday was the third long day of testimony for Broussard, who will receive a 25-year sentence in exchange for his cooperation. His wide-ranging testimony included a description of shooting Bailey, and culminated with an aggressive cross-examination by Bey IV’s court-appointed lawyer.
Also Monday, a juror was dismissed from the case, which led Mackey’s lawyer to ask again that the case be moved out of Alameda County.
The dismissed juror, a maintenance worker at a San Leandro hospital, recently discovered that one of Bey IV’s half brothers is a patient there. Gary Sirbu, who represents Mackey, said once the juror learned of the family connection, he became “worried and anxious.”
The man feared that if the jury came back with a guilty verdict, there could be “reprisals,” Sirbu said, adding that the judge in the case should infer there are similar thoughts “in the minds of every juror.”
But Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon said direct contact between a juror and a member of the large Bey family — Bey IV has more than 40 full and half siblings — “is unlikely to occur again.”
Defense attorneys had earlier tried to have the trial moved from Alameda County, citing extensive pretrial publicity.
Much of the case hinges on Broussard, who has confessed to shooting Bailey and another man, Odell Roberson, and said Bey IV ordered both hits. Mackey is accused of helping in those two deaths, and with killing a third man, Michael Wills, also allegedly at Bey IV’s order.
Bey IV and Mackey, both 25, have pleaded not guilty; they face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
In morning testimony, Broussard testified how he killed Bailey on Aug. 2, 2007. He said he shot him twice with a shotgun, started to run away, then returned to stand over the dying 57-year-old journalist to fire a third shot into his face.
Broussard also testified how police used Bey IV to help give what he now says was a flawed confession; Broussard first told police he acted alone when he killed Bailey.
Prosecutor Melissa Krum ended her questioning by asking Broussard why he decided to turn against Bey IV, his former religious leader, and Mackey, a close friend.
Broussard said it was partly to get a plea deal, and partly because he was angry over how they treated him after his arrest.
“I felt like, man, I was let down. No one came to holler at me. No one said to tell me, ‘What’s up.’ I got let down by Bey IV and Mackey,” he said, adding that he came to the realization that Bey IV “brought all this (expletive) down on us.”
Bey IV’s lawyer, Gene Peretti, began his cross examination by asking Broussard, “So it’s everybody else’s fault?”
Broussard said no, and in response to another question, said, “I take responsibility for what I did.”
Under Peretti’s questioning, Broussard admitting lying to police numerous times about the killing and changing his story repeatedly.
Peretti played an unedited tape of Broussard’s fall 2008 interview with the CBS News show “60 Minutes,” in which he denied killing Bailey.
Broussard said the interview was arranged by his lawyer, LeRue Grim, who he said told him to lie his way through the interview “to muddy the waters.”
Monday’s proceedings were difficult for Bailey’s family, several of whom have attended the trial since it began March 21.
Bailey’s brother, Errol Cooley, said Broussard described the killing “like he was shooting at a dog. It was devastating.”
Still, Cooley said, he thinks Broussard “was a pawn” in his brother’s death and that the family strongly supports attempts “to get the main person” prosecutors say is responsible for the death — Bey IV.
Broussard is expected to take the stand again Tuesday for additional cross-examination from defense attorneys.
Contact Thomas Peele at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter.com/thomas_peele.