Alameda County DA opposes release of pair convicted in journalist Chauncey Bailey’s murder

Members of Your Black Muslim Bakery were convicted in 2011

The former leader and a staffer of the defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery have filed longshot petitions for release from prison, 12 years after they were convicted of murders that included the assassination of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey.

Yusuf Bey IV, 37, and Antoine Mackey, 37, both filed motions this year seeking to have their murder convictions for the assassination of Bailey in 2007 overturned. Both men are serving life sentences in New Folsom and Salinas Valley prisons, with no chance of parole.

Bey IV was convicted of three murders in Oakland during the summer of 2007: Bailey’s, Odell Roberson’s, and Michael Wills’. Mackey was also convicted of fatally shooting Wills, an Oakland resident, in what prosecutors called a reenactment of the 1970s race-based Zebra Murder spree.

The motions cite changes to California’s felony murder rule as a result of a 2019 law that raises the threshold for when prosecutors can charge people with murder. The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has already filed boilerplate legal responses opposing both motions, arguing that the nature of their convictions should be sufficient for a judge to dismiss the petitions outright.

“At Petitioner’s trial, the jury convicted him of three first-degree murders, with multiple murder special circumstance findings as to each one,” Deputy District Attorney Dana Drusinsky wrote in response to Bey IV’s petition. “As to each murder, the jury found true that Petitioner was either ‘the actual killer’ or ‘that he did intend to kill.'”

The opposition to Mackey’s motion is identical, with the exception that “three” first-degree murders are changed to “two.”

Lorelei Waqia, Bailey’s sister, expressed relief that the DA’s office is opposing Bey IV and Mackey’s release.

“Both evil men need to serve their full term for the murder,” Waqia said in an interview. “They knew what they were doing — to take a life.”

District Attorney Pamela Price, a former civil rights attorney who took office this year, ran in 2022 on a platform opposing life sentences without the possibility of parole. Her office has reduced charges in several pending cases to make defendants ineligible for such penalties, but has made no attempt to reduce Mackey or Bey IV’s sentences in order to give them a chance at parole.

The status conference for Mackey’s motion is scheduled for November. Bey IV does not yet have a court date, but a judge signed an order appointing him a lawyer in June, according to court records.

Bey IV is the son of Yusuf Bey, a former Nation of Islam follower who left in the 1970s to found Your Black Muslim Bakery. The elder Bey, who ran for mayor of Oakland in 1994, died in 2003 while facing charges of rape and child molestation with girls as young as 13. After his brother, Antar Bey, was shot and killed in Oakland in 2005, Bey IV took over the bakery.

Your Black Muslim Bakery, based in Oakland, once had multiple bakery locations throughout the East Bay, including the Oakland Coliseum, and wielded enough political clout to secure a $1 million city loan that it never repaid, as well as support from a congresswoman during its 2007 bankruptcy.Leaders of the bakery preached Black empowerment and self-sufficiency. However, there were always allegations of its sinister side, such as fraud, murder, and sexual abuse.

Bailey, a former Oakland Tribune reporter, was the Oakland Post’s editor in 2007. Devaughndre Broussard, a bakery handyman, later testified that Bey IV held a grudge against Bailey for covering his father’s child molestation case and a story he was working on about the bakery’s troubled finances.

At the 2011 trial, Broussard testified that he and Mackey followed Bailey to work on August 2, 2007 with the intent of murdering him. Broussard shot Bailey multiple times on a downtown street with a Mossberg shotgun stolen during a ransacking of a liquor store as part of the bakery’s protest against alcohol sales in Black communities.

Broussard also confessed to murdering Roberson, a relative of the man who murdered Antar Bey, and implicated Mackey in Wills’ death. He claimed Bey IV was discussing the Zebra Murders, a spree of killings in the 1970s in which Black Muslims targeted white people at random, and then ordered Mackey to kill Wills, a white man walking to a store to buy cigarettes.

Broussard avoided a life sentence as a result of his cooperation. He is still being held at a fire camp and was denied parole last month.

During the trial, Mackey testified that he did not accompany Broussard to the murder of Bailey and that he was opening the bakery that morning. Despite a video at a police station in which he discusses his role in Bailey’s murder, Bey IV has maintained his innocence and attempted to resurrect Your Black Muslim Bakery from prison. He was accused of using a smuggled cellphone to order hits from prison in 2016, but he was never charged.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply