|Antoine Mackey, Yusuf Bey IV, and Devaughndre Broussard.|
OAKLAND – A grand jury today voted to indict Yusuf Ali Bey IV, the scion of the defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery, for ordering the killings of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men in 2007, authorities familiar with the situation said.
Prosecutors are likely to bring the case with special circumstances – allowing them to seek the death penalty against Bey IV, 23. He allegedly told two of his followers that in exchange for killing Bailey, he would teach them how to file fraudulent loan applications that could reap hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Another man, Antoine Arelus Mackey, 23, is also to be charged.
The indictments are based largely on the testimony of Devaughndre Broussard, 21, Bailey’s admitted killer. The existing charges against him will be amended to include charges for the killing of another man, Odell Roberson, Broussard’s lawyer, LeRue Grim said.
Broussard will then plead guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter, one for each slaying, probably next week, Grim said. He will receive a set sentence of about 25 years in exchange for his admissions and testimony.
It was unclear when Bey IV and Mackey will appear in court. Bey IV is in Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail on unrelated charges, but Mackey is in San Quentin State Prison on a burglary sentence and will have to be brought back to Oakland for arraignment.
The charges against Bey IV and Mackey come after a lengthy re-investigation of Bailey’s killing by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
The Oakland Police homicide investigator first assigned to the Bailey case, Sgt. Derwin Longmire, is suspended and the department is moving to fire him after he was found to have compromised the investigation and had undocumented contact with Bey IV against orders.
Longmire was friendly with Bey IV and used him to solicit Broussard’s original confession a day after the killing. The Chauncey Bailey Project reported last year that Longmire didn’t document evidence in his case notes that pointed to Bey IV’s alleged involvement in a conspiracy to kill Bailey.
That evidence included a report from a tracking device that showed Bey IV’s car parked outside Bailey’s apartment less than seven hours before the Aug. 2, 2007 killing and a secret jailhouse video, recorded as part of a separate case, on which Bey IV mocked and laughed about Bailey’s death, said he put the shotgun used in the attack in his bedroom closet afterwards, said he played “hella dumb” when questioned, and bragged that Longmire was protecting him from charges.
The charges against Bey IV mark the first time in the nearly 40-year history of the former bakery started by his father, Yusuf Bey, that a person associated with it, other than Broussard, faces murder accusations. Authorities, though, have long investigated the organization on suspicion that members killed for retribution and power, dating back decades ago to a forerunner of the organization in Southern California.
Members are suspected in the unsolved slayings of at least five other people — husband and wife Wendell and Birdie Mae Scott in 1968; Ronald Alan in 1982; Peter Kaufman in 1986; and Waajid Bey in 2004.
Bailey’s sister, Lorelei Waqia, said she grudgingly approves of the plea agreement with Broussard because it strengthens the chances of convicting Bey IV and Mackey in her brother’s slaying.
Bey IV “and Mackey are more dangerous than Broussard. In the perfect world he (Broussard) would get life but that’s how a plea bargain is: You have to give a little to get a lot. It’s worth it to get the other guys,” Waqia said.
Still, Waqia said, the charges will bring little solace.
“Anything that happened from the day he passed until now is not going to bring him back. So, for me, there’ll never be closure because I’ve lost a brother, my father has lost his namesake; his son, my nephew has lost a father who was a mentor to him,” she said.
Grim, Broussard’s lawyer, describes his client as “a human being seeking redemption” and who regrets his actions.
The crime for which he is to plead guilty, voluntary manslaughter, seems not to fit the cold-blooded nature of the killings to which he has admitted.
California law defines voluntary manslaughter as “the unlawful killing of a human being … upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.”
Broussard said he shot Roberson with an assault rifle as the man stood before him with his hands in the air. An autopsy showed Roberson was hit with about 14 bullets that caused “extensive destruction” to his head, left arm and torso.
According to Broussard’s statement to prosecutors that is the basis of the plea, he and Mackey hunted for Bailey and Broussard shot him three times at point black range with a load of buckshot. The third shot, which eviscerated much of Bailey’s face, was fired as the victim lay on the ground dying.
Thomas Peele is an investigative reporter for the Bay Area News Group. Reach him at Tpeele@bayareanewsgroup.com. Bob Butler and Mary Fricker are independent journalists who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Maryfricker@hughes.net. To learn more about the Chauncey Bailey Project, visit chaunceybaileyproject.org.