By: TERRY COLLINS
The arraignment of a community-group leader accused of ordering the murder of a newspaper editor was postponed Wednesday, and the judge sealed the grand jury transcripts of a man who says he was the shooter.
Yusuf Bey IV, the 23-year-old head of the now-defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery, was indicted last week in the Aug. 2, 2007, slaying of Chauncey Bailey, who was working on a story about the bakery’s financial woes and internal strife. He also is charged in two other slayings.
The arraignments of Bey and another bakery associate had been set for Wednesday but were continued until May 13.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson granted prosecutors’ request to seal the testimony of Devaughndre Broussard, a former handyman at the bakery who had testified he carried out the slaying because he had been promised financial rewards.
Bailey’s death prompted community outrage and a widespread investigation by Oakland police. The department’s handing of the case later came under fire after prize-winning stories by area journalists carrying on Bailey’s work exposed close ties between Bey and the lead detective, Sgt. Derwin Longmire. The detective is on paid leave.
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums later asked the state Attorney General’s office to conduct an independent probe.
Last week, Broussard struck a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and testified before a grand jury that indicted Bey and Antoine Mackey.
“I think this the beginning of the end. At least I hope so,” said LeRue Grim, Broussard’s lawyer.
Although he was charged with killing only Bailey, Broussard agreed to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter for shooting Bailey and another man a month earlier on orders from Bey.
Anne Beles, Bey’s attorney, did not return calls seeking comment.
Prosecutor Chris Lamiero, who announced the indictment last week, declined to comment.
Bailey, 57, was the editor of the Oakland Post, a newspaper focusing on African American issues. He died on a downtown street from multiple shotgun blasts while walking to work.
Your Black Muslim Bakery, founded almost 40 years ago by Bey’s father, Yusuf Bey, became an institution in Oakland’s black community. It promoted self-sufficiency and ran bakeries, a security service, a school and other businesses.
The elder Bey lost a bid for mayor in 1994, and was facing child molestation charges when he died from cancer in 2003. The bakery shut down shortly after a police raid a day after Bailey’s death.
The bakery’s site soon underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation to become an AIDS/HIV center.