The triple-murder trial of Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and associate Antoine Mackey neared its end Tuesday when prosecutor Melissa Krum rested her case.
Attorneys for Bey and Mackey said they only plan to call a few witnesses when the trial resumes Wednesday morning. It's expected that closing arguments will be presented next week.
Bey and Mackey, both 25, are each charged with three counts of murder for the deaths of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men in Oakland in the summer of 2007.
Bey's lawyer, Gene Peretti, told reporters during a break in the case that he doesn't think Krum proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Bey is guilty. He said Bey won't testify.
"I don't see any point in him taking the (witness) stand," Peretti said.
Peretti said he won't present much defense evidence because, "I'm prepared to rely on the state of the evidence as it is right now."
In her opening statement back on March 21, Krum said Bey ordered that Bailey, who was the editor of the Oakland Post and previously worked as a reporter for the Oakland Tribune, be killed because he wanted to prevent Bailey from publishing an article about the bakery's financial problems.
The bakery was in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings when Bailey, 57, was gunned down in downtown Oakland the morning of Aug. 2, 2007, as he walked to work. The business went bankrupt and closed its doors later that year.
Krum said Bey was also upset at Bailey for writing articles about the child molestation charges that Bey's father, bakery founder Yusuf Bey, faced at the time he died of cancer at the age of 67 in 2003. To try to support that allegation, Krum played for jurors a tape recording of Bey telling Oakland police the day after Bailey was killed that he believed that Bailey had written "slanderous things" about his father.
Krum said in her opening statement that Bey ordered that Odell Roberson, 31, be killed on July 8, 2007, out of revenge because Roberson was the uncle of the man who was convicted of murdering Bey's older brother, Antar Bey, in 2005.
The prosecutor also alleged that Bey, who is black, ordered that Michael Wills, 36, who was white, be killed on July 12 because he was inspired by the "Zebra Killers," whom she said were a group of black men who murdered white people in San Francisco in the early 1970s.
Bey IV is not charged with being the person who fatally shot Bailey, Roberson and Wills, but Krum said Bey ordered others, including Mackey, to carry out the killings. Former bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard testified recently that Bey IV ordered him to kill Bailey.
Broussard, 23, pleaded guilty in May 2009 to two counts of voluntary manslaughter for the deaths of Bailey and Roberson in a plea bargain in which prosecutors promised him a 25-year prison sentence in exchange for his testimony against Bey and Mackey.
Broussard said Mackey killed Wills and participated in the killings of Bailey and Roberson.
Peretti said that he and fellow defense attorney Gary Sirbu, who represents Mackey, will present several witnesses whom they believe will cast doubt about the credibility of Broussard's testimony against Bey and Mackey.
Peretti said he doesn't think Broussard is believable because Broussard has given several different statements about Bailey's shooting death.