A judge today threatened to find the attorney for the man accused of murdering journalist Chauncey Bailey in Oakland in August 2007 in contempt of court because he didn't show up for a hearing at which a trial date was to be set.
Referring to LaRue Grim, the lawyer for 21-year-old Devaughndre Broussard, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson said, "He really needs to be here next week or I'll issue an order to show cause why there shouldn't be sanctions."
Jacobson apologized to Broussard that Grim didn't show up and set his next hearing for Feb. 20. It's now expected that a trial date will be set at that time.
Jacobson said of Grim, who in the past has shown up after 11 a.m. for hearings that are on Jacobson's 9 a.m. calendar, "I'm ordering him to be here at 9 a.m. next time and he can tell me why he didn't show up today."
Jacobson's morning calendar normally runs until noon but he ended it at 11 a.m. today because he wants to get ready for a bail hearing for former Bay Area Rapid Transit police Officer Johannes Mehserle at 2 p.m. because extra security measures are being taken.
Mehserle is accused of murder for the shooting death of Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale station in Oakland early on New Year's Day.
Bailey, 57, was shot three times and killed at about 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 2, 2007, as he was walking from his home near Lake Merritt to his job as editor of the Oakland Post at 405 14th St., near City Hall.
The shooting on 14th Street near Alice Street, less than a block away from a McDonald's restaurant where Bailey, 57, had stopped to have breakfast, shocked the Oakland community and journalists around the country and the world.
Broussard told Oakland police shortly after the incident that he killed Bailey because he was upset about the journalist's reporting on the bakery's financial problems.
But questions remain about whether Broussard acted alone or was even directly involved at all because he later recanted his confession and said the only reason he confessed in the first place is that Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV, 22, ordered him to do so.
Prosecutor Chris Lamiero said after today's hearing that he was hoping that Broussard's trial would start in late March or early April. But he said it now looks like it won't start until late April at the earliest.