OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Former Your Black Muslim Bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard on Wednesday denied a defense lawyer’s suggestion that he had falsely accused bakery associate Antoine Mackey of participating in three Oakland murders four years ago in order to protect his friends.
Mackey and former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV, both 25, each face three counts of murder for the deaths of journalist Chauncey Bailey, Odell Roberson and Michael Wills in the summer of 2007.
Broussard has admitted, both in open court the past two weeks and in a plea bargain with prosecutors two years ago, that he killed Bailey and Roberson, but he said Bey ordered him to do so.
Broussard said Bey wanted to have Bailey, 57, killed to prevent him from writing an article about the bakery’s financial problems and he wanted Roberson killed out of revenge because Roberson, 31, was the uncle of the man who was convicted of murdering Bey’s brother in 2005.
The bakery was in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings when Bailey was killed on Aug. 2, 2007, and closed its doors later that year.
Broussard said Mackey participated in the killing of Bailey by driving him to and from the scene of the shooting and participated in the murder of Roberson by handing him the rifle that he used to kill Roberson.
Broussard also said that Mackey killed Wills, 36, because Bey asked him to kill a white person and that the two men randomly selected Wills.
Broussard was indicted on two counts of murder for the deaths of Bailey and Roberson and could have faced life in prison, or even the death penalty. Prosecutors allowed him to plead guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter and promised him a 25-year prison sentence in exchange for his testimony against Bey and Mackey.
Mackey’s lawyer, Gary Sirbu, alleged in his cross-examination of Broussard Wednesday that all the details Broussard gave in his confession to prosecutors two years ago “are lies to make the story look better” in terms of incriminating Mackey.
But, in his fifth day on the witness stand, Broussard insisted that he was not making up anything and was simply telling the truth.
Sirbu suggested that bakery associate Richard Lewis, not Mackey, was the person who drove Broussard to the location where he fatally shot Bailey, but Broussard said that was not the case.
Sirbu also suggested that bakery associate Tamon Halfin, not Mackey, was the person who was with Broussard when he fatally shot Roberson, but Broussard said that allegation also was not true.
In addition, Sirbu alleged that Broussard, not Mackey, was the person who fatally shot Wills, but Broussard denied that claim as well.
Sirbu suggested that Broussard was lying to protect Lewis and Halfin because they are his friends. Broussard said he was not protecting them.
Broussard said he got into a heated argument with Mackey when he first joined the bakery in 2006, but he denied Sirbu’s claim that he was trying to incriminate Mackey because he was upset at Mackey for dating a woman Broussard had been involved with.
Sirbu will continue cross-examining Broussard when the trial resumes Thursday morning.
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