BREAKING NEWS: Charges looming against bakery leader in Chauncey Bailey killing

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Originally appeared: The Chauncey Bailey Project/ Oakland Tribune
Thomas Peele, Bob Butler and Mary Fricker
April 16, 2009
The Chauncey Bailey Project/ Oakland Tribune

OAKLAND - Murder charges against former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and another man in the August 2007 killing of journalist Chauncey Bailey are imminent, law enforcement and other sources said Wednesday night.

Devaughndre Broussard, the only person charged with killing Bailey, has agreed to testify that Bey IV ordered the killing and that another of his followers, Antoine Mackey, helped carry out the hit. Bey IV and Mackey would face murder charges if indicted by a grand Jury.

Charges in two other killings in July 2007 that police long have suspected bakery members committed also are likely. Ordell Roberson and Michael Wills both were gunned down near San Pablo Avenue in North Oakland.

Grand jury testimony could be given next week, followed by indictments of Bey and Mackey. Broussard would plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and receive a set sentence in exchange for testimony.

Bey IV is jailed without bail on a host of unrelated charges, including kidnapping and torture. Mackey, who San Francisco police suspect was involved in multiple unsolved gang killings, is serving an unrelated burglary charge in state prison and could be released within a year.

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lamiero said he could not confirm any details Wednesday night.

'We are very close to a point where we are going to be able to hold accountable all of those responsible for Bailey's murder,' Lamiero said. He declined to say anything further.

Broussard's lawyer, Larue Grim, only would say that he expected significant developments in the case to happen quickly. 'It's hard, very hard' to potentially not take the case to trial, Grim said, adding that Broussard has 'expressed remorse' over his actions, and that makes a deal more palatable.

Legal experts said it makes sense for District Attorney Thomas Orloff to approve a deal that would result in additional charges in Bailey's death as well as clear other killings.

'Nailing this thing shut is worth dealing with Broussard,' said Peter Keane, Golden Gate University Law School dean emeritus, recently, speaking of a possible agreement. 'It would be a righteous deal.'

Former Superior Court Judge LaDoris Cordell called it 'a hell of a deal. The (district attorney) got everything that he could possibly get and maybe more. He solves three murders, he gets Mackey, and he gets the alleged mastermind, Bey IV.'

Bailey's sister, Lorelei Waqia, said she was thankful additional charges could be filed soon.

'At least we're getting to the truth, and I think that's important that everybody that's involved has to pay the piper,' she said late Wednesday.

Lamiero has been leading an aggressive investigation of Bailey's killing in the wake of a bungled Oakland police probe of the slaying. The lead detective in case, Sgt. Derwin Longmire, is close to being fired after an investigation found he compromised the handling of the Bailey probe.

Longmire was put on paid administrative leave Monday. Bey IV has been recorded bragging that Longmire was protecting him from charges. A confidential informant told investigators that Bey IV was overheard in jail describing Longmire as bakery sympathizer.

Longmire and Bey IV spoke at least twice on the phone last year while Bey IV was being held on kidnapping and torture charges in the Santa Rita Jail.

The Chauncey Bailey Project reported last year that Longmire failed to document in his case notes evidence of a conspiracy involving Bey IV to kill Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post.

A masked man shot Bailey three times with a sawed-off shotgun near 14th and Alice streets about 7:24 a.m. Aug. 2, 2007. Broussard confessed the next day, saying he killed the journalist because' because he was going to write bad things about the bakery' and Bey IV.

From the beginning, it was clear Broussard didn't act alone. He, Bey IV and Mackey stalked Bailey less than seven hours before the killing, parking near his Lake Merritt apartment. The next morning witnesses told police they saw another man driving the white van in which Broussard fled the killing scene. Mackey long been has suspected of being the driver.

Broussard was arrested during an Aug. 3, 2007, raid of the bakery. He at first denied involvement. Longmire then left Broussard and Bey IV alone for seven minutes and didn't record the conversation. Broussard then confessed.

A few days later, police secretly video taped Bey IV and two co-defendants in an unrelated kidnapping and torture case. Bey IV mocked Bailey's killing, laughing and throwing his head back and saying, 'That fool said pow, pow poof!' to imitate the fatal shots.

Thomas Peele is an investigative reporter for the Bay Area News Group. Reach him at tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com. To learn more about the Chauncey Bailey Project, go to www.chaunceybaileyproject.org


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