Your Black Muslim Bakery leader had Chauncey Bailey killed, bakery follower testifies
Report from The Chauncey Bailey Project, of which the Guardian is a member:
By Thomas Peele/Bay Area News Group
OAKLAND -- Yusuf Bey IV told one of his followers shortly after the shooting death of Chauncey Bailey that the journalist "slandered" Your Black Muslim Bakery and Bey IV bragged he did what he "had to do," a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday.
With the follower, Dawud Bey, also known as Dwight Smith, on the stand, Deputy District Attorney Melissa Krum asked him if he gave a statement to investigators in which he said Bey IV told him he had Bailey killed.
"They twisted up my words," Dawud Bey answered. "I was just giving my opinion."
Krum then read jurors a report prepared by another prosecutor, Christopher Lamiero, and an inspector, Michael Foster, after they interviewed Dawud Bey while investigating Bailey's murder.
"You didn't tell them Yusuf Bey IV told you, 'I did what I had to do?' " Krum said, waving the report.
"No," answered Dawud Bey, 23. "That was just my opinion."
"So your opinion is that Bey IV had (Bailey) killed because he had to. Is that what you're saying?" Krum asked.
"Yeah," the witness responded.
When Bey IV's lawyer objected to an opinion being stated as fact, Judge Thomas Reardon let the answer stand.
Reardon said Krum "intends to present other witnesses who will testify" that Dawud Bey made the statement as a fact and was quoting Bey IV directly.
Dawud Bey's statement is the first time a second person corroborated the account from Devaughndre Broussard, Bailey's confessed killer, who said Bey IV ordered the journalist killed to stop him from writing an article about the bakery in the Oakland Post. Bey IV, 25, has pleaded not guilty to ordering the death and his attorney has said Broussard was lying when he testified Bey IV sanctioned the murder.
Bey IV is also charged with ordering the killings of two other men, Odell Roberson and Michael Wills. His co-defendant, Antoine Mackey, 25, is charged with killing Wills and helping Broussard kill Bailey and Roberson.
Dawud Bey spent about two hours on the stand Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. He described himself as a Black Muslim "warrior" and said the bakery "still lives on in my heart. The bakery was a beautiful place. It brought truth to our people."
He testified that Bey IV was the bakery's commanding officer and required followers to salute him as if they were in the military.
Krum spent about 20 minutes asking him about Bey IV's teachings about "white devils." Broussard has testified that Bey IV and Mackey bragged they killed Wills in July 2007 because he was white, saying they boasted they "got a devil."
"All whites are devils by nature," Dawud Bey said on the stand. African-Americans, he said, are not devils by nature but can become them through their actions. Some whites, he said, can stop being devils if they are kind and helpful to blacks.
References to white devils "came up a lot" around the bakery and in Bey IV's sermons, he said.
Asked about Black Muslims who had killed whites believing they are devils, he said, "that's a good thing in my opinion. They are brothers who do what they have to do. If you are confronted by chaos, you have to stand up and do what is right."
As he left court after finishing his testimony, Dawud Bey paused briefly in front of several members of the Bey family in the audience, raised his hands palm up, and bowed.
Also Tuesday, the father of a man convicted of killing Bey IV's older brother, Antar Bey, in 2005 testified that he saw people he knew as bakery followers drive by his house numerous times after his son's arrest for the slaying.
Broussard testified that Bey IV wanted the man, Alfonza Phillips Sr., killed as retribution for Antar Bey's death; Alfonza Phillips Jr. was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole in December 2007.
But Broussard said he was never able to find Phillips Sr., so he said Bey IV eventually told him to kill another relative, Roberson.
Phillips Sr., a retired postal worker, said he frequently saw men from the bakery driving past his house in a black BMW with vanity plates that read "DR. BEY."
"They were staring at me like I am supposed to run," Phillips said. "I just stood there. Here I am. It wasn't the same person every day.
In afternoon testimony, a man with a record of drug and gun crimes told jurors that Bey IV approached him for a loan "to save the bakery" in 2007 but the man instead helped set up what became a botched kidnapping and robbery of a woman.
The man, Albert "Johnny" Antone, was flown in to testify from an undisclosed state where he awaiting trial on gun charges.
Bey IV, he said, was dating one of his daughters. Shortly before Bey IV asked him for money, Antone said he had been the victim of a home invasion robbery where men posing as police officers took $85,000 in cash and jewelry worth more than $150,000.
He said he "heard on the street" that a woman to whom he sometimes sold cocaine set him up. So rather than lend Bey IV money, he suggested robbing the woman. Bey IV could keep the money and Antone would get her drugs, Antone testified.
He said he also urged Bey IV to rob one of his rival drug dealers.
On May 17, 2007, Antone said he saw the woman's car at an East Oakland bingo parlor and called Bey IV. Eventually, five bakery members were charged with kidnapping and torturing the woman in a failed attempt to learn where the rival kept drugs and money.
Two of Bey IV half brothers, Yusuf Bey V and Joshua Bey, took plea deals. A bakery follower, Richard Lewis, was convicted and sentenced to life without parole. Bey IV and another man, Taom Halfin, have yet to be tried in the case.
Krum has built much of her case on the premise that Bey IV was desperate for money to save the bakery from bankruptcy. Killing Bailey, she said in her opening statement, was an extension of those efforts, because he feared anything that Bailey wrote might impact his ability to borrow money. He also thought the murder would intimidate lenders who would then not turn him down.
Antone said he asked Bey IV not to hurt the woman "because I wasn't hurt and no one in my house was hurt" when he was robbed. The woman, who testified at Lewis' trial, has not been identified by name because she was tortured.
Antone received a grant of immunity in the kidnapping and torture case to testify in the murder case.
As court ended for the day, Krum told Reardon that an unidentified man used two fingers as if they were a gun and gestured twice as if firing two shots at Antone has he left the courtroom. A district attorney's inspector also saw the hand motion.
Reardon expressed concern. "If it was intimidation, then I need to do something about it," he said, adding that he would ask his bailiffs to investigate.