Trial starts for Yusuf Bey IV in Bailey killing

Yusuf Bey IV
March 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Jury selection wrapped up Monday in an East Bay courtroom where two men connected with Your Black Muslim Bakery are on trial for the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey. Prosecutors made their opening statements Monday afternoon.

Three and a half years after Bailey's murder, a jury of seven women and five men was selected to decide the fate of the two men on trial for his killing. With a mountain of evidence and dozens of witnesses, the case could last three months.

But the key testimony will come from Devaughndre Broussard, the person who admitted to pulling the trigger. Defense attorneys already say he's lying.

"He's very inconsistent. He's lied before, he's lying again," said Yusuf Bey IV's lawyer Gene Pretti. "He's completely inconsistent with his tale and I think the jury's going to see he's a liar."

In a plea deal, Broussard will receive a 25-year sentence in exchange for his testimony against Antoine Mackey, the man accused of helping to hunt Bailey down, and Bey IV, the man accused of ordering the hit. Bailey was shot as he walked to his Oakland post offices early in the morning on a busy Oakland street.

Defense attorneys had hoped to hold the high-profile trial out of town.

"I do think that because all of you are here, that the fact that Mr. Bailey is a journalist is extremely important and that drove our motion for change of venue," said Mackey's lawyer Gary Sirbu.

In opening statements, prosecutor Melissa Krum held up the shotgun that killed Bailey and showed the jury his graphic autopsy photos. The night before the Aug. 2, 2007 murder, she said Bey IV told Broussard and Mackey, "You can't miss. If you miss, they are coming down hard on the bakery. This is gonna [sic] be big."

Prosecutors say it was an assassination to silence Bailey because he was writing a story on the scandals of Oakland's Your Black Muslim Bakery, from its mounting debt to the sex crime allegations against its founder, Yousef Bey.

Jurors will also see video taken days after Bailey's murder where Bey IV discusses the crime. They will also hear about other crimes linked to the bakery, including Oakland liquor store vandalisms.

Bailey's family will be sitting in the courtroom through it all.

"We feel that justice will be served," said Errol Bailey

In addition to Bailey's murder, Bey IV and Mackey will also be on trial for the murders of two other men.

Key witness Broussard is expected to take the stand this week, or early next week.


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