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Jury Deliberations Begin In Chauncey Bailey Murder Trial

May 23, 2011

Oakland, CA — The jury is now deliberating the fate of two men accused in the killings of Chauncey Bailey and two other men.

After the end of the prosecution’s rebuttal of last week’s defense closing argument, the judge issued instructions to the 7 women and 5 men who will determine the guilt or innocence of the CEO of the former Your Black Muslim Bakery, Yusuf Bey IV, and Antoine Mackey, both accused in the deaths of Bailey, Odell Roberson and Michael Wills.

Devaughnndre Broussard, 23, pleaded guilty to killing Roberson on July 8, 2007 and Bailey on August 2, 2007 and testified Mackey, 25, killed Michael Wills on July 12, 2007. In exchange for his testimony he receives a 25-year prison sentence.

Broussard claims Bey, 25, ordered Bailey “taken out” to stop a story he was writing about the bakery’s financial problems and Bey’s criminal record. Roberson was killed, according to Broussard, to avenge the death of Bey’s brother who died in 2005 when he was shot in a carjacking carried out by Roberson’s nephew. Broussard said Bey wanted Wills shot because he was a “White devil.”

Deputy District attorney Melissa Krum used today’s rebuttal to point out what she called mistakes in closing arguments the defense made last week.
Bey’s attorney, Gene Peretti, and Mackey’s lawyer, Gary Sirbu, repeatedly attacked Broussard’s credibility during trial and kept up their assault during closing arguments.

Peretti said Broussard kept changing his story and ridiculed the prosecution’s reliance on him as their main witness. But Krum used a powerpoint to highlight at least 20 cases where the defense said Broussard lied. In each case, she said that Broussard’s statements were backed up by other evidence and/or witnesses.

Broussard testified that denied killing Bailey when arrested the day after the journalist was shot until Bey told him, in front of police investigators, to admit his guilt. Bey made the same claim on a video secretly recorded by police a few days later.

Broussard changed his story after his attorney told him to recant and maintained his innocence until April 2009 when he offered to talk to prosecutors about all three cases. They eventually reached agreement that Broussard would plead guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and testify for the state in exchange for the 25-year sentence.

Peretti said the jury should ignore everything Broussard said.

“This is the person you are being asked to believe. Someone who killed two people, maybe three,” a reference to defense contentions that Broussard, not Mackey, likely killed Wills.

Sirbu kept up the pressure.

“Ms Krum’s case on the Bailey murder is paper-thin without Broussard,” Sirbu said. “He’s got a script and he’d better follow it. The only problem is the script isn’t truthful.”

Krum admitted that Broussard was not the ideal witness.

“He’s not exactly the person that a district attorney wants as their main witness,” said Krum. “But I didn’t pick him, Mr. Bey did. Everything he (Broussard) said is corroborated by the evidence.”

The jury has to determine if Bey and Mackey are guilty of the murders of Roberson, Wills and Bailey. In addition Bey is charged with a December 2006 incident in which members of the bakery shot up a car that belonged to the father of the children of one of Bey’s former wives. Mackey is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the Wills murder.

Both men could get life in prison with no possibility of parole if convicted.

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