Chauncey Bailey murder trial continues


Prosecutors say the founder of the now-defunct Your Black Muslim bakery and one of his associates plotted the murder of the journalist to stop his investigation into the bakery's finances.

Jurors have spent nine days behind closed doors deliberating. Along the way they've asked to hear key testimony read back, even requesting to see for themselves AK-47 shell casings police found on the roof of Your Black Muslim Bakery and in bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV's bedroom.

On Tuesday they took notes during a read back of testimony from the prosecution's star witness, former bakery handyman and the man who admitted shooting Chauncey Bailey, Devaughndre Broussard.

"There was a lot of testimony and a lot of evidence, so I'm not totally surprised that they're taking a long time," said Bey's lawyer, Gene Peretti. "I think they're concerned about credibility issues, and there's probably some disagreement going on."

It is the murder of a working journalist that has grabbed all the headlines.

Prosecutors say Bey ordered Bailey killed because he planned to publish a story about the bakery's financial problems.

Jurors on Tuesday wanted to hear more about Michael Wills, another man Bey and co-defendant Antoine Mackey are charged with killing. Wills was shot in 2007 as he walked on a path near the bakery.

Broussard struck a plea deal in exchange for his testimony and told the jury that Mackey once told him he and Bey had been discussing the 1970s Zebra killings when they saw Wills, and that Mackey shot him simply because he was white.

The jury also heard Mackey's own testimony read back.

"I never knew who the guy who was killed was until I was charged for murder," said Mackey.

One sign that this jury may be at it for some time? They ate lunch in the courthouse Tuesday and told the bailiff they plan to go out for lunch Wednesday.

"At the end of the day I hope this jury looks at this evidence very carefully and comes to the right conclusion," said Gary Sirbu, Mackey's lawyer.

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