A prosecutor told jurors Monday that there's enough evidence to convict former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and an associate of three counts of murder for the shooting deaths of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men.
In her closing argument in the two-month trial of Bey and Antoine Mackey, both 25, prosecutor Melissa Krum said Bey "might have completely got away with" the murders of Bailey, Odell Roberson Jr. and Michael Wills in Oakland in the summer of 2007 if it weren't for the testimony of bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard.
Broussard, 23, admitted during the trial that he fatally shot Bailey and Roberson but said he did so because Bey ordered him to.
Broussard also implicated Mackey in all three murders, saying Mackey killed Wills at Bey's direction and participated in the fatal shootings of Bailey and Roberson.
Broussard had been charged with two counts of murder, but prosecutors allowed him to plead guilty to two counts of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter in return for his testimony against Bey and Mackey.
Broussard could have faced life in prison without the possibility of parole but his plea agreement calls for him to receive a 25-year state prison term.
Lawyers for Bey and Mackey said in their closing arguments last week that the two men should be found not guilty because Broussard's testimony is unreliable, as he gave several different accounts of what happened when Bailey was killed.
Broussard has said that Bey ordered him to kill Bailey, who was the editor of the Oakland Post, because he was working on a story about the bakery's financial problems.
The bakery was in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings when Bailey was killed on Aug. 2, 2007, and closed its doors later this year.
Jurors are now getting legal instructions from Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon and will begin deliberating after their lunch break.