Chauncey Bailey Murder Trial
Oakland, CA — Jury selection has begun in the case of two men charged with three 2007 murders in Oakland, including that of Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey.
Yusuf Bey IV, former leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland, is charged with ordering the deaths of Bailey and Odell Roberson and Michael Wills, who were shot to death near the bakery in July 2007.
Bakery employee Antoine Mackey is accused of killing Willls, being involved in the death of Roberson and driving the getaway car when Bailey was killed while he walked to work in downtown Oakland on August 2, 2007.
Bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard has pleaded guilty to killing Bailey and Roberson and has agreed to testify against Bey IV and Mackey in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence.
Prosecutors say Bey IV ordered Broussard and Mackey to kill Bailey because he was working on a story about internal fighting at the bakery and the institution’s troubled finances.
More than one-thousand potential jurors were called. They completed questionnaires last month and now the judge, prosecutor and defense attorneys are trying to select 12 jurors and 5 alternates.
On Monday 35 jurors were ordered to report to Alameda County Superior Court. After a brief conference in judge Thomas Reardon’s chambers, 16 were dismissed.
Reardon spent most of the day explaining the law and asking the other 19 jurors how much they knew about the case. The defense has asked to move the trial out of Oakland because of pre-trial publicity. Most jurors said they would have no trouble rendering a fair verdict but three more were dismissed for various reasons.
More jurors will be brought in for questioning over the rest of February. All those selected in the final pool will return to court March 21. Attorneys say the plan is to seat the final jury that morning and begin opening statements that afternoon.