Bailey Jury Reaches Guilty Verdicts

Journalist Chauncey Bailey was shot and killed while walking along an Oakland street one morning.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Friday, Jun 10, 2011  |  Updated 8:55 AM PDT
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The verdict was guilty on all counts the jury could come to agreement on in the long awaited trial of the two men prosecutors hold responsible for killing Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey.

The verdict was guilty on all counts the jury could come to agreement on in the long awaited trial of the two men prosecutors hold responsible for killing Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey.

The jury in the Chauncey Bailey murder trial reached its verdicts Thursday. The group of seven-woman and five-man found Yusef Bey IV guilty on all counts.

They also found Antoine Mackey guilty on all but one count where they declared a deadlock. 

Bey and Mackey were accused of orchestrating the killing of the Oakland journalist.

The jury began deliberating on May 23.

The jury found the two men guilty of first-degree murder in the 2007 homicide.

Bey was also found guilty in the deaths of two other men,  Odell Roberson and Michael Wills. Mackey was found guilty in Wills' death, but the jury was hung on the count involving Roberson's death. 

They now face life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sentencing is set for the first week of July.

Bey's mother Daulet Bey said following the verdict that she remains convinced her son is innocent.

"Ultimately God has the last say and that's what I rest on. I believe in my son's innocence I do," Daulet Bey said.

Deputy District Attorney Melissa Krum said she was proud of how hard the jury worked to arrive at the verdicts in "such a voluminous" case.

"With today's verdicts, justice was served, and we hope that the outcome will provide some closure to the families of the victims murdered by defendants Mackey and Bey.  These verdicts also stand for our abiding conviction that violence against the free voice of the press will not be tolerated in our society," District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley added.

The defense said they would appeal the verdicts.

During the lengthy trial, prosecutors tried to prove the founder of the now-defunct Your Black Muslim bakery and his associate Machey plotted to kill Bailey because he was writing an article about the bakery's finances.

Under a plea deal, Devaughndre Broussard admitted to being the gunman who killed Bailey. Broussard testified at trial that Bey and Machey ordered Bailey to be killed to stop him from publishing the story.

The defense tried to convince the jury that Broussard was lying about the Bey and Machey's involvement.

The prosecution said late Thursday that although the majority of the details about the crimes came in through Broussard's  testimony, they said Bey's telephone records, GPS data and testimony from other witnesses about Bey having bragged about the Bailey murder substantiated the testimony.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley announced the findings as follows:

  • Count 1; both defendants:  1st degree Murder of Chauncey Bailey (8/2/07) and arming clauses for both defendants.
  • Count 2; Both defendants:  1st degree Murder of Michael Wills (7/12/07)with an arming clause for Bey and personal use of a firearm  for Mackey.
  • Count 3; Defendant Mackey:   Felon in possession of firearm for the 7/12/07 murder weapon.
  • Count 4; Yusef Bey only: 1st degree Murder of Odell Roberson (7/8/07) and an arming clause.
  • As to Defendant Mackey, a mistrial was declared after a hung jury as to this count only.
  • Count 5; Defendant Bey:  Shooting at an unoccupied vehicle belonging to Cameren Cook (12/7/06) and an arming clause.

The DA's office also released the following background details:

Background

During the two and a half month long trial, Deputy District Attorney Melissa Krum presented the testimony of over 60 witnesses and introduced into evidence 175 exhibits.  Defendant Yusuf Bey IV, 25, is the son of Yusuf Bey Sr., the founder of the now-defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery. In addition to being a once-thriving business, the establishment was a religious organization with a distinctly militant structure.  The elder Bey died in 2003, leaving operation of the business to Waajid Aljawwaad Bey a spiritually-adopted son.  Following Waajid's death 2004, Antar Bey, one of Bey Sr.'s biological sons, immediately assumed power.  The bakery's financial health quickly declined under Antar, who drove the organization into debilitating debt.

Murder of Odell Roberson, July 8, 2007

        At the age of 19, defendant Yusuf Bey IV assumed the position of CEO in late 2005 after Antar was murdered in a carjacking.  Alfonzo Phillips Jr. was later tried and convicted of Antar's murder.  In mid-2007 defendant Bey instructed 19-year-old bakery followers Devaughndre Broussard and Antoine Mackey to kill Phillips Jr.'s father in retaliation.  When the men were unable to determine the elder Phillips' comings and goings, defendant Bey switched his focus to Odell Roberson, the younger Phillips' uncle.  During the 2007 Fourth of July weekend defendant Bey ordered Broussard to kill Mr. Roberson when he got the chance.  Just after midnight on July 8, 2007, Broussard and Mackey were on walking patrol of the bakery neighborhood -- tasked with ridding the neighborhood of drugs and prostitution -- when they ran into Mr. Roberson.  Mackey was armed with an SKS assault rifle.  Broussard asked Mackey for the gun and Mackey passed it, no questions asked.  Broussard fired seven times at close range, killing Roberson.

Murder of Michael Wills, July 12, 2007

        In the early morning hours of July 12, 2007, defendants Bey and Mackey were together in Bey's car.  The defendants were talking about the Zebra Killings -- a series of murders allegedly committed by a group of African American men on white victims in San Francisco in the 1970s -- when they saw Michael Wills, a white man, walking on San Pablo Avenue.  Bey pulled around the corner and Mackey got out and shot Mr. Wills to death with nine shots from the same SKS assault rifle Broussard used to kill Mr. Roberson.  The defendants returned to the duplex where Mackey and Broussard lived and bragged to Broussard about the killing.   A few days after the Wills murder, defendant Bey spoke to a group of the bakery men about the history of the Zebra Killings, saying they were retaliation for lynchings.  Bey opined that the men were "giving [the white victims] a taste of their own medicine."

Murder of Chauncy Bailey, August 2, 2007

        Bey held a grudge against Chauncey Bailey, a career reporter and then-editor of the Oakland Post newspaper.  Bey blamed Mr. Bailey for his father's death -- claiming articles Mr. Bailey wrote detailing the elder Bey's pending felony charges of molesting underage girls at the bakery increased the man's stress to an unhealthy level.
        In addition, Bey had recently found out that Mr. Bailey was writing what Bey called another "slanderous" article about the bakery and Bey.  Indeed, one of older members of Yusuf Bey Sr.'s regime, incensed over what he and others perceived to be the fraudulent way in which Antar and defendant Bey came to power, as well as concerned over the the decline of the bakery and defendant Bey's numerous criminal activities, had become Chauncey Bailey's source for an exposé on defendant Bey and the bakery.
        A day or two before Mr. Bailey's murder, Bey told Broussard and Mackey to find out where Mr. Bailey lived.  The two men cased out the Post office in downtown Oakland and followed Mr. Bailey to his nearby home on First Avenue near Lake Merritt.  After the two reported their findings to Bey, the three men conducted a dry run of the murder, which Bey set for the following morning.  Bey, Mackey and Broussard planned the details of the attack in front of Mr. Bailey's home only hours before the murder was to take place.
        On the early morning of August 2, 2007, Broussard and Mackey awakened Bey as instructed so Bey could borrow a nondescript white van from the bakery handyman.  Mackey and Broussard drove to Mr. Bailey's house but the men missed their window to kill Mr. Bailey by a matter of seconds.  Mackey drove Mr. Bailey's route to work until the men found him walking on 14th Street.  Mackey remained with the van while Broussard -- dressed in all black and wearing a mask and gloves -- ambushed Mr. Bailey on the sidewalk.  Broussard killed Mr. Bailey with three shots to the shoulder, abdomen, and face with a Mossberg shotgun.
        The men returned to the bakery and reported back to Bey.  Bey insisted on seeing the scene, so the three men returned to the area to see the aftermath.  Bey bragged about how "big" the murder was going to be for the bakery; saying the bakery would get respect and loans upon demand.


Shooting of an Unoccupied Vehicle, December 7, 2006

On December 7, 2006, defendant Bey orchestrated the shooting of a man's car in retaliation for disrespectful comments the man made as well as the man having fired his own gun near bakery property.  Broussard and at least three other men used the SKS later used to kill Mr. Roberson and Mr. Wills, the Mossberg shotgun later used to kill Mr. Bailey, an AK-style assault rifle, and another shotgun to fire almost 40 rounds at the unoccupied vehicle.  Six months later, defendant Bey took the same AK-style assault rifle to San Francisco in a Corvette to handle an unruly crowd at one of the night clubs at which the bakery provided security services.  Police arrived on scene when the crowd turned violent and unknown people began firing.  Bey abandoned the gun in the Corvette and left the car in the city for the night.  The next morning SFPD officers continuing their investigation of the shooting seized the assault rifle from the car after seeing the barrel of the gun poking out from the trunk area into the connected passenger compartment.
Investigation
        At approximately 5:00 a.m. the day after Mr. Bailey's murder, the Oakland Police Department led a multi-agency force of officers to raid three properties owned by the bakery, including the duplex as well as the residence above the bakery in which defendant Bey resided.  The raid had been planned for days, based on search warrants involving other violent crimes committed by Bey in the past.  Officers seized the Mossberg shotgun, the same gun as the one stolen by defendant Bey and a group of bakery followers from a liquor store the group destroyed in late November 2006 in their purported protest of the overabundance of liquor stores in African American neighborhoods.  Police seized a second shotgun from under defendant Mackey's bed.  Although not linked to any known crimes, it was loaded with two of the three types of shotgun shells used in the Bailey murder.  In addition, officers seized over 200 expended casings and shotgun shells from inside the duplex and defendant Bey's home as well as from the flat rooftop of the bakery building housing his residence.  Months of detailed scientific comparison of the casings and shotgun shells with those left at the Roberson, Wills, and Bailey murder scenes linked defendant Bey and the bakery as a whole to the crimes.  Firearms comparison also linked both murder weapons to the December 7, 2006 shooting of the unoccupied vehicle.

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