Chauncey Bailey Suspects Get Life With No Parole
Oakland, CA — Both defendants charged in the murders of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men were sentenced to life without parole. Yusuf Bey IV, the former CEO of Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland, was given 3 consecutive life sentences for ordering the murders of Chauncey Bailey, Michael Wills and Odell Roberson. Co- defendant Antoine Mackey was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life without parole.
Robin Hardin-Bailey, the journalist’s ex-wife, addressed the court — and the defendants.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think Chauncey’s life would end because of a story.
Bailey was working on a story about financial problems at the bakery, once a prominent African-American institution started in the early 70’s as an example of black self-sufficiency. Its policies were consistent with the Nation of Islam in that it was one of the only places that would hire ex-convicts.
The bakery fell on hard times after the patriarch, Yusuf Bey, Sr, died in 2003.
Violence took the lives of the elder Bey’s next two successors.
Waajid Aljawaad Bey, the man picked by the elder Bey to run the bakery, disappeared in February 2004. His body was found in a shallow grave in the Oakland hills several months later.
Bey IV’s older brother, Antar Bey, took over the bakery and took out $700,000 loan but regular payments were not made. He was killed in a failed carjacking in November 2005, leaving the bakery in the hands of then-19-year old Yusuf Bey IV.
One of Bey IV’s first acts was to lead a group of bakery employees and associates on a vandalism spree at two Oakland liquor stores. A shotgun was stolen from one of the stores.
The bakery fell into chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2006. Yusuf Bey IV was trying to keep the bankruptcy court from converting the chapter 11 to a chapter 7 liquidation when he learned Bailey was writing the story.
The man who actually killed Bailey, Devaughndre Broussard, testified that Bey told him he wanted Bailey killed before the story ran. Broussard pleaded guilty to killing Bailey and Roberson and was sentenced to 25-years in prison in exchange for his testimony.
Bailey was killed on the morning of August 2, 2007 with the same shotgun that was stolen from the liquor store.
Hardin-Bailey addressed Bey IV directly and drew a parallel between Bey’s father and Bailey.
“From what I understand you started good. You father wanted to do something good for the community,” she said. “That was Chauncey.”
Robin Haugen, the mother of victim Michael Wills, expressed frustration that Mackey and Bey IV were not charged with a hate crime.
“It was a hate or racist crime. I can’t imagine what Michael’s thoughts were… especially when he realized that this short walk would become a run for his life.”
Wills had walked to the store to buy cigarettes when he was spotted by Bey and Mackey.
Broussard testified that Mackey told him he “got a white devil.”
During sentencing Alameda County Superior Court judge Thomas Reardon cited the racial, hate crime motivating factor to justify making the sentences run consecutively.
Roberson was killed because his nephew was convicted of killing Antar in the failed carjacking.
Bailey’s ex-wife, Robin Hardin-Bailey, ended her statement by saying she forgave the defendants.
“I forgive you and the Chauncey Bailey I knew, the Chauncey Bailey who came here to right the wrongs, to tell the stories of people who had no voice,” I believe he would forgive you too.”
Bey IV’s had his attorney read a statement in which he said he was innocent.
“I do apologize to my family and the families of the victims for not making wiser decisions and allowing this to have occurred on my watch,” he wrote.
“I will not rest until I find out those who are truly responsible for setting this operation up. For years there have been elements out there trying to destroy the institution of Your Black Muslim Bakery and, though they have been successful temporarily, I know and believe that truth and righteousness always triumphs in the end.”
Attorneys for both Bey IV and Mackey plan to appeal.
Alameda County deputy district attorney Melissa Krum called the sentence, “absolutely and positively justice in it’s ultimate. There could not have been a more maximum sentence unless we had sought the death penalty.”