Suspected driver in journalist’s slaying still free
By A.C. Thompson, Thomas Peele and Paul T. Rosynsky, Chauncey Bailey Project
Since a trio of shotgun blasts killed Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey on Aug. 2, police and prosecutors have charged only one man with the crime: 20-year-old Devaunghndre Broussard, a handyman at Your Black Muslim Bakery, who is expected to be arraigned this morning.
But Oakland police records raise questions about whether a second man, a 21-year-old former San Francisco resident with an extensive and violent criminal history, may have played a role in the journalist’s slaying.
That man, Antoine Mackey, who lived with Broussard and worked at the bakery, remains free. It’s unclear whether police are actively seeking to question him about possible connections to the crime.
Reached on a cell phone with an Atlanta area code earlier this week, Mackey denied any involvement in Bailey’s death.
But a bakery associate, Rigoberto Magana, told detectives that on the morning of the murder, Mackey drove away from the bakery in a white Dodge Caravan belonging to Magana, according to handwritten police interview notes.
The vehicle in question figures prominently in the crime: Broussard later told homicide detectives he’d used the van to get to and from the scene of Bailey’s killing near 14th and Alice streets in downtown Oakland, and witnesses reported seeing a white van in the vicinity.
One witness said the gunman got in on the passenger side of an “older Dodge Caravan” shortly before the shooting; another saw the assailant flee the crime scene in a “waiting white van,” police incident reports state.
When homicide detectives questioned Magana, he told them Mackey drove the van away from the bakery’s San Pablo Avenue headquarters between 5:30 and 6 a.m., returning it to the bakery between 7:30 and 7:35 a.m. with a damaged rearview mirror. Baily was shot at 7:25 a.m., according to police reports.
Magana, who was living at the bakery, “identified Antoine Mackey immediately” when shown Mackey’s photograph as the person who drove away in his van and later returned it, the police notes state.
Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and Broussard gave police accounts of driving around the night before the killing with Mackey and also met him at the bakery immediately after the shooting and drove to the scene together, according to interview transcripts obtained by the Chauncey Bailey Project.
Broussard, who, like Mackey was raised in San Francisco, told police he shot Bailey three times because the journalist was working on stories about the bakery’s financial woes. He later recanted.
Days after Broussard’s Aug. 3 confession, Oakland police told the media their probe was ongoing and suggested Broussard likely had help. “We don’t believe he acted on his own,” Assistant Chief Howard Jordan said days after Bailey died.
But department officials have been largely unwilling to discuss specific details since and are now observing a department-wide gag order regarding the case.
Oakland Police Chief Wayne Tucker did not return telephone calls Wednesday and Thursday to answer questions about Mackey. In earlier interviews, Tucker and other officers refused to discuss him.
Officer Roland Holgren, a department spokesman, said Thursday he couldn’t answer any questions about the Bailey case.
Broussard’s defense attorney said he believes Mackey was involved in Bailey’s killing, and police may have detained him when they raided the bakery compound Aug. 3, but allowed him to go free.
Soon after, Mackey became a fugitive.
He failed to appear for a criminal hearing in San Francisco on Aug. 17 and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
“He disappeared,” attorney LaRue Grim said this week. “We are hoping he will be picked up sometime in the future.”
Holgren wouldn’t answer written questions Thursday about whether police had Mackey in custody or are seeking him now.
Grim said he believes Mackey “was involved. He drove the van.” Broussard “is very reluctant to point the finger at anyone, but I think he will be willing to do so at trial. If he does, he can implicate Mackey and Yusef Bey and couple of others.”
Bey, who is jailed for unrelated offenses, has denied any involvement in the murder.
In addition to the revelations about the van, a review of police investigative documents by the Chauncey Bailey Project shows:
In a taped jailhouse telephone conversation with a man identified only as “unc,” the man asked Broussard “what they do with Mackey?” “Mackey got out,” Broussard replied, an apparent reference to police possibly detaining Mackey and releasing him.
Broussard told police he smoked a cigar laced with cocaine “when we were driving over there” to the corner where Bailey was ambushed. According to the transcript of the recorded portion of the interview, the homicide detective interviewing him, Sgt. Derwin Longmire, didn’t ask Broussard who he meant by “we.”
Under questioning by Longmire, Broussard said he Mackey and Bey IV drove past Bailey’s apartment near Lake Merritt the night before the murder.
Bey IV told police Mackey and Broussard drove with him to the scene of Bailey’s shooting shortly after it happened, and then went to Lake Merritt, where Bey IV claimed Broussard confessed to him he was the gunman.
In interviews with detectives, Bey IV identified Mackey as a member of his security team.
Contacted Tuesday night, Mackey said he had nothing to do with Bailey’s shooting.
“I don’t know anything about that. I’d never even consider talking about anything like that,” he said, adding he knew Broussard, whom he described as “the dude from the Muslim bakery.”
Mackey has an extensive criminal record in San Francisco, and court records show he twice survived violent attacks. In 2001, he was stabbed on a school bus and spent eight days in the hospital. Roughly a year later, in 2002, he was shot six times in the city’s Hunters Point neighborhood.
In a deposition taken in a civil case in 2005, Mackey said his criminal history dates to 1999 when he was 13 and charged with sexual assault. He pleaded guilty to forced oral copulation and false imprisonment and became a registered sex offender, he admitted.
As an adult, court records indicate, Mackey’s been arrested four times since 2005, and in one incident was charged with attempted murder, assault with a semi-automatic rifle, assaulting a police officer, participating in a criminal gang, and other offenses. Those charges were later reduced. Mackey pled guilty to a single a count of carrying a concealed weapon, and received a sentence of three years probation.
Oakland Tribune staff writer Josh Richman and New America Media reporter Kenneth Kim contributed to this report.