Jurors hear police recording saying Bey IV bragged about journalist’s death
By Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — “Take him out.”
“I did what I had to do.”
“That will teach them to (expletive) with me.”
Jurors were told Wednesday that former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV said those things about the Aug. 2, 2007, slaying of journalist Chauncey Bailey. Bey IV’s lawyer, however, tried to discredit the statements by questioning the validity of the people who claimed to have heard them.
Jurors heard a tape of a statement Bey IV’s former girlfriend gave to police the day after Bailey was slain, as well as testimony from a prosecutor who investigated Bailey’s death. In both instances, jurors heard evidence indicating that Bey IV was satisfied with Bailey’s death.
Audio: Sheavon William’s statement to police the day after Chauncey Bailey was killed.
KTVU-TV: Bey’s ex-girlfriend doesn’t remember his comment about Bailey
Bay Area News Group: Chauncey Bailey murder trial Special Report
Bey IV and bakery associate Antoine Mackey are facing triple-murder charges in connection with Bailey’s death and the deaths of two other men — Odell Roberson and Michael Wills — in summer 2007. Bey IV is accused of ordering the slayings while Mackey is accused of helping carry out the deaths of Bailey and Roberson, and with killing Wills. Bey IV and Mackey have pleaded not guilty.
On the tapes, the former girlfriend, Sheavon Williams, told detectives that Bey IV appeared angry over Bailey’s pending story in the Oakland Post about the bakery’s troubled finances.
She told police that Bey IV huddled with Mackey late the night before the killing and reminded Mackey to wake him up at 5 a.m.
Later that day, she said, Bey IV called her over to a television in his bathroom where a news report of Bailey’s killing was being broadcast. “That will teach them to (expletive) with us,” she said Bey IV told her.
The tape was followed by testimony from Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lamiero, who presented evidence two years ago to a grand jury that indicted Bey IV and Mackey for the deaths of Bailey, Roberson and Wills.
Lamiero described a January 2010 interview he had with a former bakery follower named Dawud Bey, also known as Dwight Smith. Dawud Bey said Bey IV told him that Bailey was writing “slanderous” stories and “I did what I had to do,” Lamiero testified.
Asked whether Dawud Bey said Bey IV used the word “kill” to describe what he ordered, Lamiero said the phrase “take him out” was quoted to him.
Dawud Bey, when asked about those comments earlier in the trial, denied that Bey IV said them, saying he was telling Lamiero what he thought happened to Bailey.
But Lamiero told jurors that Dawud Bey was quoting Bey IV directly.
Under cross examination by Bey IV’s lawyer, Gene Peretti, Lamiero said the phrase had been written in a report by the inspector working with him as, “Bey IV did what he had to do.”
That was because Dawud Bey was both reciting the quote and endorsing the action, Lamiero said.
“Didn’t Dawud Bey provide you with a conclusion?” Peretti asked Lamiero.
“No. These were things said by Bey IV,” Lamiero replied.
Lamiero said Dawud Bey also said the bakery leader offered to provide him with a false identity with a high credit rating through which he “could buy houses and cars without a job.”
The prosecution’s key witness in the case, Devaughndre Broussard, told jurors Bey IV offered him a similar arrangement in exchange for killing Bailey. Broussard has confessed to killing Bailey — which he said was on Bey IV’s order — and has agreed to testify against Bey IV and Mackey in exchange for a 25-year prison term. Defense attorneys have painted Broussard as a serial liar who will say anything to keep from serving a life sentence.
Outside court, Peretti said he didn’t believe Bey IV told Dawud Bey anything about Bailey’s death.
Peretti also described Williams as a “weak witness” who was unsure of facts and only told police what they wanted to hear so they would release her from custody after holding her for more than 16 hours.
Reach investigative reporter Thomas Peele at email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/thomas_peele.