Defense attorney moves to restrict access to news publications for jurors in the Chauncey Bailey murder trial
By Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — A defense attorney on Monday asked the judge to ban jurors in the Chauncey Bailey murder trial from reading newspapers or using the Internet for the duration of the trial after the Bay Area News Group and the Chauncey Bailey Project reported that a journalist had received a death threat while reporting a story related to Your Black Muslim Bakery.
Gary Sirbu, who is representing co-defendant Antoine Mackey, made the request as trial resumed Monday. Articles about the threat were published Saturday on the front page of Bay Area News Group publications, including the Oakland Tribune.
Judge Thomas Reardon asked jurors if they had read any news stories over the weekend about the telephone threat made to reporter Josh Richman. By a show of hands, jurors indicated they had not read the articles.
Reardon denied Sirbu’s request, saying he did not want to make such an order. But the judge again cautioned jurors to avoid any news coverage about the case or anything related to Your Black Muslim Bakery.
Bay Area News Group: Chauncey Bailey murder trial Special Report
Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and Mackey, a bakery member, are facing triple-murder charges on connection with the death of Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post, and two other men in the summer 2007. Bey IV is charged with ordering the killings; he allegedly wanted Bailey dead to stop him from writing a news story about the bakery’s financial troubles. Mackey is accused of helping carry out Bailey’s death and that of another man, as well as with the shooting death of a third man.
Bey IV and Mackey have pleaded not guilty. Testimony in the trial continues Monday, with Prosecutor Melissa Krum directing follow-up questions to Devaughndre Broussard, Bailey’s confessed killer and the prosecution’s main witness against the Bey and Mackey.
The trial is expected to continue through June.
Richman was working on an unrelated story about real estate fraud allegations against another member of the bakery, Jamall Joseph Robinson, when a male caller told him, “If you write that story, you are going to end up like your friend Chauncey.”
Oakland Police are investigating the threat.