Bakery leaders and followers in court
By Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — Former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and three of his followers appeared briefly in Superior Court on Monday afternoon as the kidnapping and torture charges against them — dismissed last week by a judge — began anew.
Bey IV, 23; his half-brother Yusuf Bey V, 22; Tamon Halfin, 22; and Richard Lewis, 25, all waived arraignment before Judge Robert McGuiness.
All four are scheduled to appear again Wednesday when their lawyers from the last case are expected to be reappointed and pleas are to be entered.
Alameda County Judge Thomas Reardon threw out the original 2007 charges Friday on legal technicalities. He ruled that a preliminary hearing that stretched out for months last year because of scheduling issues was conducted improperly.
After that hearing, visiting Humboldt County Judge Eric Labowitz ruled enough evidence existed to try the men, a point now moot.
The four defendants and another man, Joshua Bey, are charged with using a fake police cruiser to pull over a mother and daughter on Interstate 580 and taking them to a house in East Oakland. The daughter was allegedly taken into a house, tortured and threatened with a hot curling iron when a police officer rescued her.
Anne Belles, the attorney who represented Bey IV on the earlier charges, said she believes he is constitutionally entitled to bail, but is unsure whether she will make a motion for it Wednesday. “I haven’t been appointed yet,” she said.
Also at issue is where another preliminary hearing will be conducted and how quickly.
Lewis’ attorney, Patrick Hetrick said he was not willing to waive the requirement that another preliminary hearing be conducted within 10 days. “The other attorneys don’t want to do that,” he said.
Bey IV is suspected of involvement in the August 2007 killing of journalist Chauncey Bailey, but remains uncharged. The trial of another of his followers, Devaughndre Broussard, the only person charged in Bailey’s killing, is scheduled to begin next month.
Independent journalist Bob Butler of The Chauncey Bailey Project contributed to this story. Reach Thomas Peele at tpeele@bay areanewsgroup.com.