Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bey IV To Be Charged With Murdering Bailey

Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Finally, some justice. Yusuf Bey IV, the former head of Your Black Muslim Bakery, is to be charged with murder in connection with the assassination of journalist Chauncey Bailey, according to both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chauncey Bailey Project. The Chron reports that bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard, the man who actually shot Bailey to death in 2007, has reached a plea deal with prosecutors to testify against Bey IV and fellow henchman Antoine Mackey in exchange for a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. Broussard will testify that Bey IV ordered him to murder Bailey and that Mackey was the get away driver.

Broussard also will testify that Bey IV ordered him to murder, Odell Roberson, the uncle of the man who killed Antar Bey - Bey IV's brother - in 2005. He'll also testify that Bey IV ordered Mackey to kill another man, Michael Willis, according to the Chron. Bey IV has long been suspected of being the mastermind of Bailey's death, but had not been charged, because evidence showed that the lead homicide investigator in the case, Oakland Police Sergeant Derwin Longmire, was Bey IV's friend and had protected him. Longmire is on administrative leave and may be fired for what he did.

Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff, and his staff, especially Deputy District Attorney Chris Lamiero, who is spearheading the case, deserve a lot of credit for bringing Bey IV to justice. It's been clear for a long time that Bey IV had ordered Bailey's murder. The idea that Broussard had come up with the idea and pulled it off on his own was laughable. Still, there is no guarantee that prosecutors will get a conviction. Broussard is a known liar - he originally confessed to murdering Bailey, and then recanted, saying Bey IV put him up to it. Now, he essentially will be telling his third version of events.

Still, this version appears to be the most credible because it fits with the rest of the evidence we know about - from Bey IV stalking Bailey before the murder to his assertions that Longmire was protecting him. But there's also another question that could affect the outcome of the case: Will Longmire's mishandling of the investigation also hurt prosecutors' chances of convicting Bey IV?

Finally, as long as were handing out plaudits, both the Chauncey Bailey Project and the Chronicle deserve lots of credit for their coverage of the case, and for the public pressure they created, which helped lead us to this point. Outstanding work.

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