Two sentenced to life in prison for Bailey murder


A judge sentenced Yusef Bey IV to three life terms in prison on Friday. Antoine Mackey will serve two life sentences.

A stone-faced Bey stared straight ahead at an Alameda County judge has he was given the maximum sentence of life without parole for ordering the murder of Bailey in 2007.

"There's no satisfaction," said Bailey's brother Errol Cooley. "How can you have satisfaction? It's like the coffee only being half full -- you still have that empty void spot there still."

Prosecutors argued Bey, the head of the Your Black Muslim Bakery, ordered Bailey killed because the journalist was writing a story detailing the bakery's financial difficulties.

The sentencing came after Bailey's ex-wife Robin Harin tearfully told Bey and Mackey that she forgave them. Mackey looked directly at Bailey as she spoke; Bey shot back only an occasional glance.

Bey's attorney read a statement from his 25-year-old client.

"Though I know I'm innocent of the crimes in which I've been convicted, I do apologize to my family and to the families of the victims for not making wiser decisions and allowing this to occur on my watch," the statement read.

"It's disappointing to hear a defendant say something like that when you know it is completely untrue," said prosecutor Melissa Krum, "but I expected nothing less from Mr. Bey."

Besides Bailey's murder, Bey was also sentenced to two consecutive life terms in the murders of Odell Roberson and Michael Wills. Prosecutors argued Wills was killed because he was white.

Wills' mother also spoke in court, telling the defendants that the crimes were "not a sport, these are people's lives."

The attorneys for both men plan to appeal Friday's sentences.

"His position, from the moment he entered his plea of not guilty through the trial, is that he is not guilty of these offenses," said attorney Gary Sirbu.

As witnesses to the sentencing exited the court on Friday, Bey's mother hugged Bailey's family members.

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