Chauncey Bailey Project

Suspect in Bey killing told girlfriend to keep quiet, tape shows

Alfonza Phillips (2004/Oakland Police Department)
Alfonza Phillips (2004/Oakland Police Department)

Alfonza Phillips (2004/Oakland Police Department)

By Paul T. Rosynsky, Chauncey Bailey Project


OAKLAND — Alfonza Phillips, the man accused of killing Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Antar Bey two years ago, told his girlfriend to “stay silent” during a taped phone call he made to her from the Alameda County Jail.

Using the taped conversation as her last piece of evidence during Phillips’ trial Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Colleen McMahon gave jurors a small glimpse into the relationship between Phillips and his girlfriend, Althea Foy.

The tape also revealed that Phillips, 22, appeared to be jovial and sounded like a teenager courting a girl rather than a man facing life in prison for murder.

In the roughly 10-minute conversation, Phillips and Foy discussed their love for each other, the topic of jealousy and, briefly, the case against Phillips. Between laughs and discussions of jealousy, Phillips told Foy to keep quiet.

“Stay silent,” Phillips is heard saying. “You hear me, stay silent n—–,” using a racial slur. Foy responded, “I know.” Police detectives have testified that Foy told them Phillips confessed to her that he killed Bey because he wanted the 22-inch rims on Bey’s $75,000 BMW 745i. They said Foy told them that she had heard rumors that Phillips was responsible for the murder and badgered him until he told her he did it.But Foy claims she was coerced into giving the statement and lied to police because they threatened her. Foy said police told her that a “swarm of Muslims” — a reference to members of Your Black Muslim Bakery — would descend on her and her family if she did not pin the murder on Phillips.The conversation between Foy and the detectives was not taped.

Foy also testified that she was not in love with Phillips and they were simply friends who had sex. But the jailhouse phone call records both Phillips and Foy professing their love for each other.

At one point, Phillips talks to Foy about a Super Bowl party she attended and said he was jealous when he heard she was at a party.

“I apologize for that time we were talking … you don’t know how much I love you,” Phillips is heard saying. “I got jealous when you told me about the Super Bowl party. I didn’t like that.”

Foy responded, “I love you, too.”

At another point in the conversation, Phillips talks about shaving his head and Foy said she was glad because she liked the “clean look.”

In between their pillow talk, Phillips discussed one aspect of his case.

Talking about a police informant who testified that Phillips told him he had killed Bey, Phillips said the informant was a drug addict who sounded high when he gave his statement to police.

Phillips told Foy that he had met with his attorney and heard the taped interview between police and the informant.

“I heard that n——,” Phillips said in a conversation peppered with racial slurs. “That n—– sounded like he was high as f— when he went in there.

“That don’t even matter,” Phillips said of the informant’s statement.

The phone call ended with Phillips and Foy exchanging “I love you’s.”

“I love you,” Phillips said.

“I love you,” Foy responded.

“I love you more,” Phillips said.

“I love you more,” Foy said as the conversation ended.

Public Defender Leonard Ulfelder called only one witness in defending his client against the murder charge.

Danine Diey, an investigator for the public defender’s office, described the steps she went through gathering information for the case and discussed interviews she had with key witnesses in the case.

Diey said one witness, an employee of a janitorial service who saw the shooting, refused to testify because he feared “the Muslims.”

“He said he was afraid, that the Muslims were threatening him,” Diey said.

Both sides rested their cases Wednesday and are due back in court Tuesday to give closing statements.

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