The ghost of Chauncey Bailey won't stop haunting Yusuf Bey IV.
After months of speculation and allegations about the leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery's involvement with the death of Oakland journalist Bailey, an Alameda County criminal grand jury on Wednesday finally indicted Bey on three counts of murder in connection with the deaths of the journalist and two other men in the summer of 2007.
The indictment was unsealed at 1:30 p.m. today at a brief hearing in the courtroom of Alameda County Superior Court Presiding Judge Yolanda Northridge.
After the hearing, which was closed to the press and public, Deputy District Attorney Chris Lamiero said the grand jury indicted Bey, 23, for the death of Bailey, 57, on Aug. 2, 2007, 31-year-old Odell Roberson Jr. on July 8, 2007, and 36-year-old Michael Wills on July 12, 2007.
The indictment includes a special circumstance allegation that Bey committed multiple murders. But Lamiero said a decision about whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Bey won't be made until later.
Roberson was the uncle of Alfonza Phillips, who ultimately was convicted of killing Bey's older brother, 23-year-old Antar Bey, in a botched robbery at the Union 76 gas station at 55th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way about 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2005.
Lamiero said the grand jury also indicted bakery associate Antoine Mackey for all three murders and bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard for the murders of Bailey and Roberson. Mackey and Broussard also face special circumstance clauses for multiple murder, he said.
In issuing the indictment, the Grand Jury relied in part on testimony by Broussard last week, according to Broussard's attorney, LeRue Grim.
Broussard also gave a lengthy statement to Lamiero on March 23 and 24.
In his statement, Broussard admitted that he killed both Bailey and Roberson but said he did so at Bey's direction.
Broussard said Bey wanted him to kill Bailey because Bey was upset about an article that Bailey was planning to write about the bakery's financial problems. Shortly after Bailey was killed the bakery became bankrupt and went out of business.
Broussard said he wasn't involved in Wills' death but said Bey and Mackey talked to him about it immediately afterward.
According to Grim, Broussard agreed to plead guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter for the deaths of Bailey and Roberson.
Grim said a plea agreement calls for Broussard to get a 25-year state prison sentence if he testifies truthfully against Bey and Mackey.
Lamiero said Bey and Mackey are scheduled to be arraigned May 6 and Broussard is scheduled to be arraigned May 7.
In a separate case today, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Joseph Hurley ordered Bey to stand trial on charges that he and four bakery associates kidnapped and tortured two women in Oakland on May 17, 2007, in an effort to get money from them.
Lamiero declined to speak about the case in detail today but he said, "We're always glad when we think we're doing the right thing."