Defense attorney: Broussard is lying about Bailey murder to protect a ‘cousin’
By Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — Admitted killer Devaughndre Broussard is lying about Your Black Muslim Bakery member Antoine Mackey’s alleged role in three murders to protect another man he considers his cousin, Mackey’s lawyer contended Wednesday.
Attorney Gary Sirbu ended an afternoon of cross-examining Broussard in the Chauncey Bailey murder trial by repeatedly asking Broussard if a man named Richard Lewis — not Mackey, as Broussard claims — helped him kill Bailey and another man, Odell Roberson, in summer 2007.
Broussard repeatedly denied protecting Lewis, a fellow San Franciscan and bakery member who he has testified was like an older cousin to him. Lewis was convicted last year of kidnap and torture in another case involving the bakery and sentenced to a life term with no parole.
Mackey, wearing a blue dress shirt, sat staring at Broussard as Sirbu, his voice raised, repeatedly asked the 23-year-old if he was lying to protect Lewis.
“Didn’t you falsely fabricate a story that Mackey was your accomplice in the murder of Chauncey Bailey?” Sirbu asked.
No, Broussard answered sharply.
“Wasn’t Richard Lewis the person who drove you to the scene of the Bailey shooting?” Sirbu asked.
Broussard again said no.
“Mr. Mackey is not guilty,” Sirbu said outside court a few minutes later.
Sirbu has reserved his opening statement until after the conclusion of the prosecution’s evidence and his comments were his strongest public claims of Mackey’s innocence.
Mackey is being tried alongside Yusuf Bey IV in the triple-murder case. Broussard, the prosecution’s key witness, has said Bey IV ordered him to kill Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post, and Roberson, and that Mackey helped him commit those slayings.
Also, Broussard claimed Bey IV and Mackey bragged about killing a third man, Michael Wills. Broussard has pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and is to be sentenced to 25 years in exchange for his cooperation.
Bey IV and Mackey, both 25, have pleaded not guilty.
While Broussard said he wasn’t protecting Lewis in any of the killings, he did admit lying to investigators in 2009 to keep them for learning Lewis’ bakery nickname, “Kia.” Prosecutor Christopher Lamiero, who was also investigating the kidnapping and torture case in which Lewis was eventually convicted, asked Broussard about the name in a recorded interview.
Broussard said then he didn’t know anything about Lewis having such a name.
Wednesday, he admitted lying to Lamiero.
Sirbu also accused Broussard of lying about Mackey’s alleged role in the Roberson killing, and asked if another bakery member, Tamon Halfin, was involved. Broussard denied the claim. Halfin is awaiting trial in the same kidnapping and torture case in which Lewis was convicted. Bey IV is also awaiting trial in that case.
In early testimony, Broussard said he and Mackey had become close friends in summer 2007 when they lived together in a bakery housing unit.
But Sirbu repeatedly asked Broussard if the two fought over women with whom each was having a sexual relationship. Broussard denied fighting with Mackey over women.
He also asked if Broussard had tried to apologize to Mackey for testifying against him during a chance encounter in the North County Jail in Oakland where each is held. Broussard again said no.
Sirbu is expected to continue his cross examination of Broussard on Thursday before a jury of five men and seven women. It will be Broussard’s sixth day of testimony. It is unclear if it will be his last. Bey IV’s lawyer, Gene Peretti, repeatedly accused Broussard of being a liar in questioning that ended Tuesday.
When Sirbu is finished, Prosecutor Melissa Krum will begin her redirect questioning of Broussard. The trial is expected to last until at least mid June.
Earlier Wednesday, a man who lived at the bakery testified that Bey IV arranged to borrow his white van for other men he didn’t see a few hours before Bailey was shot on the morning of Aug. 2, 2007.
Rigoberto Magana told jurors that he awoke between 3 and 4 a.m. and heard “Yusuf’s voice” telling others to ask him for his keys.
“I think they were going to get something at Costco,” Magana said.
Other witnesses in the trial have described seeing a van of the same description outside Bailey’s apartment and parked near 14th and Alice streets in downtown Oakland where Bailey was shot. Broussard has testified he and Mackey used the van to hunt down Bailey.
Broussard’s fifth day of testimony was interrupted Wednesday so Magana, who authorities brought from his home in Mexico, could take the stand.
Magana said he lived at the bakery in exchange for doing odd jobs there and often loaned his Dodge caravan minivan to Bey IV. Once, he said, weeks before Bailey’s murder, he saw Mackey driving it after he gave the keys to Bey IV.
Magana said he didn’t know who took the keys from atop a space heater in his bedroom on the bakery’s second floor because it was dark and he had been asleep.
Krum, the prosecutor, asked him if he thought it was odd that Bey IV said something about going to Costco in the middle of the night.
“It wasn’t strange,” he replied through a Spanish language interpreter, adding he hadn’t considered the timing. When Krum pushed, Magana said he had not loaned out the van at a similar time before.
When the van wasn’t back when he needed to leave for work at 7 a.m., Magana said he stood outside Bey IV’s bedroom window on San Pablo Avenue and both called him on his cell phone and spoke with him though an open window.
“Did he tell you it was on its way?” Krum asked. “Yes,” Magana replied.
Cell phone records that Krum has yet to introduce into evidence show Bey IV’s cell phone calling Mackey’s minutes after Bailey was killed, according to records obtained by the Chauncey Bailey Project in 2008.
Magana said that when he looked behind the bakery a few minutes later, the van was back, but the keys weren’t in it. He went back to Bey IV, who tossed them to him from the window.
When he went back to the van, he said he saw Mackey some distance away gesturing at him, but didn’t stop because he was late for work. Later, he said, he noticed that van’s license plates had been removed and were inside the vehicle between the seats.
Broussard has testified that he saw Mackey remove the license plates before they drove off to find Bailey earlier that morning.
Contact investigative reporter Thomas Peele at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at Twitter.com/thomas_peele.