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April 19, 2011

Chauncey Bailey Murder Trial Update
April 19, 2007
Bob Butler
The Chauncey Bailey Project

The judge in the case of two men accused in the murder of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey will allow the jury to see a video recording in which one of the defendants laughs about the journalist’s murder.

Alameda County Superior Court judge Thomas Reardon threw out most of the more than two-hour recording. But attorneys for former Your Black Muslim Bakery CEO Yusuf Bey IV and bakery associate Antoine Mackey said what remains will hurt their clients.

Both men are charged in the murder of Bailey, Odell Roberson and Michael Wills.

Deputy district attorney Melissa Krum contends Bey IV ordered all three deaths and that Mackey killed Wills and helped confessed killer Devaughndre Broussard in the Bailey and Roberson cases.

In court Tuesday the jury heard testimony that showed the bakery was having serious financial difficulties and was in danger of being liquidated under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code. The bakery was not making monthly loan payments of more than $7,000

On May 17, 2007 police say members of the bakery kidnapped two women as they were leaving a bingo hall. Bey IV’s brother Joshua testified that Bey IV wanted to find out where a drug dealer kept his money so they could rob him to help pay the bakery’s debts.

They were arrested when police raided the bakery the day after Bailey was killed.

Joshua and Yusuf Bey V have pleaded guilty in exchange for 3 and 10 years prison sentences, respectively. Another bakery associate, Richard Lewis, was convicted last year and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Yusuf Bey IV and another bakery associate, Tamon Halfin, still face charges in the kidnapping case.

The video was made by an Oakland police officer investigating the kidnapping case.

The detective put Bey IV, Joshua Bey and Halfin in an interview room equipped with hidden video and audio recorders.

Once the detective left the room, Bey IV began counseling the others on how to avoid implicating anyone in the kidnapping case if questioned by police.

On the video Bey IV mimicked what happen to Bailey when he was shot three times at close range with a shotgun.

“That fool said ‘pow, pow, poof’. He a soldier for that (expletive),” said Bey on the video, throwing his head back and laughing.

Gene Peretti, Bey’s attorney, tried unsuccessfully to keep the tape out of evidence.

“He (Bey IV) makes no admissions but it is unflattering to my client,” he said.

Bey IV also admitted having the gun used to kill Bailey in his closet just hours before the police raid and talked of having witnesses killed.

Krum said the video shows that Bey IV was in charge and that people at the bakery did what he told them.

“On this tape is a series of admissions by Mr. Bey. It not only shows his culpability in the kidnapping case, it also speaks to the Bailey murder,” said Krum. “The tape clearly shows the control that defendant Bey had over people at the bakery.”

She said Bey IV learned on August 1st, 2007 that Bailey was writing a story about the bakery’s troubled finances. Krum contends he wanted to stop the story because he feared it would hurt his chances of getting the business out of bankruptcy.

Matthew Kretzler, an attorney of the Office of the Federal Trustee testified that then-bakery CEO Antar Bey and his sister, Jannah Bey, received a loan for $625,000 on December 23, 2004 from Davis Mortgage and Investments. The terms required monthly payments of $5,729. The bakery building was used for collateral.

Antar Bey was killed in a failed carjacking in October 2005, leaving the bakery in the hands of then-19-year old Yusuf Bey IV.

On October 24, 2006 Bey IV filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“There was $680,780 owed to Davis Mortgage and another $237,910 to the IRS,” said Kretzler.

Davis Mortgage wanted to foreclose on the bakery building but the court gave Bey IV a six-month stay on April 18, 2007 with the caveat that he had to pay $7,291.71 on the 10th of each month, file reports with the court showing the bakery was making money and pay payroll taxes.

On June 22 Davis mortgage asked the trustee to convert the Chapter 11, meant for reorganization, to Chapter 7 liquidation.

“The bakery was not making the payments, monthly cash flow reports or paying payroll taxes,” said Kretzler. “The business was not being run profitably.”

On August 3rd, 2007 – just hours after police raided the bakery and arrested Bey IV and other members of the bakery – the bankruptcy trustee granted the motion by Davis Mortgage to foreclose on the bakery building. The building was sold at auction.

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