OAKLAND (CBS/AP) — A key witness in the trial of a man accused of masterminding three murders testified Monday that he was given a shotgun rifle and ordered to kill an Oakland journalist to keep an investigative article from being published.

Devaughndre Broussard said Yusuf Bey IV handed him the shotgun that he used to kill Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey.

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KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“He wanted us to take him out before he completed that article,” Broussard said. “Our understanding was to kill him as soon as possible.”

Bey is the former leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery. Once an institution in Oakland’s black community, the bakery had become marred by criminal activity and financial troubles by the time of the shooting in 2007.

Broussard has pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter as part of a plea deal for killing Bailey on a downtown Oakland street in broad daylight, and for the death of homeless drug addict Odell Roberson, who frequented the area around the bakery.

In exchange for a 25-year prison sentence, Broussard agreed to testify against Bey and co-defendant Antoine Mackey, both 25. Mackey is accused of helping in the killings of Bailey and Roberson and also of fatally shooting Michael Wills in July 2007. Bey and Mackey have pleaded not guilty to murder charges.

Broussard, 23, said Bey ordered him and Mackey to stake out Bailey and track his movements. They followed Bailey home one night and later met with Bey to do a run-through of the killing near the 57-year-old Bailey’s home.

“Whoever shoot, can’t mess up,” Broussard said Bey told him.

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Broussard said Mackey told him: “Dre’, you take the hit.”

Broussard testified that the men went back to the bakery, where Bey gave him the shotgun that was used in the killing. The next morning — on Aug. 2, 2007 — Mackey drove Broussard in a van to an area near Bailey’s home where they spotted the editor.

Broussard said he killed Bailey and Roberson because Bey promised to help restore his credit and secure bank loans. He testified that he left the bakery in January and March of 2007 because he wasn’t getting paid on time and his probation officer was exerting pressure for him to pay restitution for another crime he was convicted of in 2005.

Broussard said when he rejoined the bakery in June 2007, Bey asked him to kill Roberson, the uncle of a man convicted of killing Bey’s brother. Broussard said he was told by Bey to “take (Roberson) out when you get a chance.”

Asked by prosecutor Melissa Krum how he felt about the request, Broussard said, “I took it in stride.”

Mackey and Bey stared intensely at Broussard as he testified Monday about the Roberson killing. Attorneys for Bey and Mackey have called Broussard a liar who has changed his story too many times. They hope to start their cross-examination later this week.

On Tuesday, Broussard is expected to testify about how he killed Bailey.

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