A California appeals court upheld the convictions of two men in the 2007 murder of Oakland newspaper editor Chauncey Bailey, ruling that the defendants received a fair trial despite “a great deal of negative pretrial publicity.” Yusuf Bey IV and Antione Mackey were convicted in 2011.  Bey was convicted of ordering the murder and Mackey along with Devaughndre Broussard were accused of carrying it out. The defendants claimed that their trials should have been moved out of the county because of biased newspaper and television coverage.  Mackey also argued that he should have received a separate trial.

At the oral arguments, Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline said he and two other jurists were struggling with the change-of-venue question.  But the ruling was unanimously against their claims. The justices found that trial judge Thomas Reardon picked “a jury that had been rigorously screened.”

“The evidence against defendants was strong and, while dependent on accomplice testimony, was sufficiently corroborated to comply with California law. Defendants were vigorously represented by counsel throughout the proceedings,” Associate Justice James Richman of the 1st District Court of Appeals wrote in the 107-page opinion.

Bey was also convicted of ordering the murder of Odell Roberson and Michael Wills, killed in the weeks leading up to Bailey’s death on August 7, 2007. Mackey was convicted of killing Wills, but the jury deadlocked on whether he killed Roberson.  Broussard pled guilty to two of the three killings and in exchange for his testimony was sentenced to 25 years.

The prosecutor in the case, Alameda County deputy district attorney Melissa Krum, said of the ruling, “[I am] pleased and grateful that justice continues to be served for the horrific [triple] murders…”

Broussard testified that Bey ordered him to “take out” Bailey to stop him from publishing negative stories about Your Black Muslim Bakery, an Oakland institution that was founded by Bey’s father in the early 70s.  The Beys claim the institution promoted self-help for African Americans, but prosecutors said that it was a front for a criminal enterprise.


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