Your Black Muslim Bakery leader said slain journalist ‘slandered’ his father
By Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — Jurors in the Chauncey Bailey murder trial heard police recordings Tuesday morning in which former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV said several times that Bailey, a newspaper reporter, had “slandered” the business and his late father.
Those recordings were played as prosecutor Melissa Krum prepared to rest her triple murder case against Bey IV and co-defendant Antoine Mackey sometime this afternoon after five weeks of testimony.
Bey IV told both Oakland Police and investigators from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office that he knew Bailey was working on a story about the bakery. Krum contends that Bey IV ordered Bailey killed to stop the story from being published and as revenge for other articles Bailey had written about Bey IV’s father, bakery founder Yusuf Bey.
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Bailey “degraded my father” in print, Bey IV told county investigators, adding that he learned of the pending story from his sister, who had a friend who worked at the Oakland Post.
A previous witness, Nisayah Yahudah, who said she was once married to the elder Bey, testified that she worked at the Post when Bailey was killed and that she saw another member of the Bey family with Bailey at the newspaper office.
That other family member, Ali Saleem Bey, testified that he was the confidential source feeding Bailey information about the bakery and Bey IV.
Bey IV told county Inspector Robert Chenault that “the person who works at the Post” told his sister that the story “was gonna be a problem.”
Bailey’s confessed killer, Devaughndre Broussard, testified that Bey IV ordered him and Mackey to “take out” Bailey before the story was published.
Broussard also testified that Bey IV ordered him to kill another man, Odell Roberson, and that Mackey helped him. He also said that Bey IV and Mackey bragged about killing a third man, Michael Wills.
Bey IV and Mackey have pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder each. They face life in prison without parole eligibility of convicted.
Krum’s last witness was Oakland Police Sgt. Derwin Longmire, who took the stand a second time as a recording of interviews with bakery members on Aug. 3, 2007, were played. In that recording, Bey IV said that “guns weren’t allowed at the bakery, period” and denied that live ammunition and spent rifle and shotgun rounds were in his bedroom above the bakery.
Several police officers testified they recovered scores of bullets in and around the bedroom and other witness said they had seen weapons in the room that Bey IV controlled.
Longmire also said that Bey IV was lying when he boasted on a secretly recorded police video that the detective had promised him he wouldn’t be charged in the case.
“Did you make him any promises,” Krum asked.
“No, ma’am,” Longmire replied.
When court resumes Tuesday afternoon, Krum is expected to close her case and Mackey’s lawyer, Gary Sirbu, will be allowed to call a witness out of order because she is not otherwise available.
Outside court, Bey IV’s lawyer, Gene Peretti, said he expects to begin his defense Wednesday and will not make an opening statement. He also said he has advised Bey IV not to testify, saying that Krum has not established that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
“My advice to him is not to take the stand,” Peretti said, because “you can’t deny what hasn’t been proven.”
Peretti said he expects that he and Sirbu will call “a handful” of witnesses between them.
Reach investigative reporter Thomas Peele at email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/thomas_peele.