Ballistics evidence will play heavily in the arguments of prosecutors seeking to persuade a jury that two men were ordered to kill an Oakland journalist investigating a financially troubled bakery run by one of the defendants.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Ballistics evidence will play heavily in the arguments of prosecutors seeking to persuade a jury that two men were ordered to kill an Oakland journalist investigating a financially troubled bakery run by one of the defendants.
The leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery, Yusef Bey IV, is charged with ordering the killing of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey.
Alameda County prosecutor Melissa Krum said during opening statements Monday that a shotgun shell that had contained the buckshot fired into Bailey’s head was found in Bey’s bedroom.
The shell will serve as a key piece of physical evidence for prosecutors, who accuse Bey of ordering two of his "soldiers" to kill Bailey in August 2007 to prevent the publication of an article about the bakery.
Bey, now 25, and co-defendant Antoine Mackey also are being tried in the murders of two other men not connected to Bailey or the expose.
Krum said Bey was driven by a desire to save the bakery, despite leading it into bankruptcy shortly after taking over. She said Bey also blamed Bailey for causing stress that hastened the death of his father, bakery founder Yusef Bey Sr., who died of cancer in 2003.
Days before Bailey was fatally shot, the younger Bey showed a videotape of his father’s funeral to Mackey and confessed gunman Devaughndre Broussard, Krum said. Bey paused on an image of Bailey, who attended the funeral, and told them "that’s the (expletive) that killed my dad," Krum said.
At the time of his death at 67, Bey’s father was facing trial for the rape of an underage girl. Krum said the son held a grudge against Bailey for publishing articles about the charges against his father.
Broussard will testify that Bey ordered him and Mackey to follow Bailey and determine how best to ambush him, Krum said.
Broussard has confessed to shooting Bailey with a pistol grip-style shotgun as the editor walked to work in downtown Oakland — three times to ensure Bailey was dead. Then 19, Broussard pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was expected to be sentenced to 25 years in prison in exchange for his testimony against Bey and Mackey, who is accused of driving the getaway van.
The pair is also charged with the murders of Odell Roberson and Michael Wills, who were both shot near the bakery’s Oakland headquarters weeks before Bailey’s death.
Broussard has admitted to killing Roberson. Krum said that Bey urged him to kill the homeless drug addict who frequented the neighborhood because he was related to the man convicted of killing Bey’s brother, who preceded Bey as the bakery’s leader after their father’s death.
She said Mackey handed Broussard the murder weapon.
Mackey is accused of gunning down Wills, a chef and musician, because he was white, shortly after Mackey and Bey had a conversation about the Zebra murders, a string of racially motivated black-on-white killings in San Francisco in the 1970s.
Outside court, Bailey’s brother told reporters he was not surprised by the case presented by the prosecutor.
"It’s important for us to get this out. It would be nice just to get through this," Errol Cooley said.
He reflected on the media attention directed toward his family during the trial, saying his brother would have done the same. "Chauncey was a journalist. He’d probably cover this story himself."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.