Chauncey Bailey Project

Another plea in kidnap case tied to Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV

Clockwise from upper left:  Yusuf Bey IV, Yusuf Bey V., Tamon Halfin, Richard Lewis (Carrie Ching/CIR)
Clockwise from upper left: Yusuf Bey IV, Yusuf Bey V., Tamon Halfin, Richard Lewis (Carrie Ching/CIR)

Clockwise from upper left: Yusuf Bey IV, Yusuf Bey V., Tamon Halfin, Richard Lewis (Carrie Ching/CIR)

By Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project

OAKLAND — Yusuf Bey V, half brother of the jailed leader of the former Your Black Muslim Bakery, has pleaded guilty to helping kidnap two women in 2007 and agreed to testify against another defendant in the case, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Bey V will testify against Richard Lewis but will not take the stand against his half brother, Yusuf Bey IV. The deal has Bey V receiving a 10-year sentence.

A judge earlier this month agreed to break the case into two trials — Bey V was to have been tried with Lewis. Bey IV is to be tried with co-defendant Tamon Halfin, with whom he was secretly video recorded discussing the case in 2007 and saying, “Let’s get our stories straight.” A fifth defendant, Joshua Bey, pleaded guilty in 2007 and is to testify against Lewis, Bey IV and Halfin.

Bey V pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping on June 19, prosecutor Christopher Lamiero said Thursday. The trial for Bey V and Lewis was to have started Monday. Bey V’s lawyer, Andrea Auer, did not immediately return a phone call Thursday.

Lewis’ trial now won’t start for several months. It is unclear when Bey IV and Halfin will be tried. Bey IV is facing triple murder charges, including for the death of journalist Chauncey Bailey — charges that will likely be resolved first, Lamiero said.

Bey V has given “a much more clear description” of the events surrounding the kidnapping, Lamiero said. A mother and daughter allege they were pulled over on I-580 by men in a police car and taken to an east Oakland house where the daughter was tied up and beaten while the mother was held at gunpoint.

The daughter testified at a preliminary hearing that her attackers were attempting to learn the location of a stash of drug money.

Police did not make arrests in the case until Aug. 3, 2007 — the day after Bailey was killed. Police were to have raided the bakery two days earlier to serve warrants in the kidnapping case and two homicides, but the raid was delayed 48 hours because two SWAT commanders were on vacation, the Chauncey Bailey Project found last year.

Bey IV, Halfin and Joshua Bey were videotaped after their arrest when police left them alone in an interrogation room.

On the tape, Bey IV urged the others not to talk about the charges, saying that the women — who had bags put over their heads — didn’t see their attackers and would not be able to identify them in court.

The case was divided into two trials because of the video, Lamiero said. Since Lewis and Bey V were not on it, they had to be tried separately. Bey V will testify only against Lewis since the case was severed.

Thomas Peele is an investigative reporter. Reach him at  

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