OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Jurors in the trial of Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV heard a recording of his former girlfriend telling police that Bey gloated about the shooting death of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey in 2007.
In an taped interview with two Oakland police officers less than 48 hours after Bailey, 57, was gunned down the morning of Aug. 2, 2007, as he walked to his job as editor of the Oakland Post, Sheavon Williams, 26, said Bey asked her to watch a television report about Bailey’s death and said, “That will teach them to (expletive) with us.”
Prosecutor Melissa Krum told jurors in her opening statement in the triple-murder trial of Bey and bakery associate Antoine Mackey, both 25, last month that she believes that Bey ordered that Bailey be killed because he wanted to stop Bailey from publishing an article about the bakery’s financial problems.
In late 2007, the bakery, which had been founded in 1968, went bankrupt and closed its doors.
In her interview with police, Williams said that before Bailey was killed she overheard Bey telling someone at the bakery that a reporter was planning to write an article about the bakery’s bankruptcy proceedings.
“He wasn’t too happy about it,” Williams said.
Williams also said she overheard Bey speaking to someone on the telephone about staking out a building and she overheard Bey talking to Mackey at the bakery only hours before Bailey was killed.
Krum played Williams’ statement in court Wednesday because when Williams testified last week she claimed that she didn’t remember Bey bragging about Bailey’s death.
Oakland police Sgt. James Rullamas said Williams “was very forthcoming” and “very pleasant” when she talked to him and an associate, Sgt. Todd Crutchfield.
Rullamas, who has been with the Oakland Police Department for 19 years and has been investigating homicide cases for nearly 13 years, said that compared to the interviews he has done in other cases, “this was really a cordial interview.”
Williams said Bey’s family members came by her house earlier this year and “said a few words” about her testimony in the case and also said a younger brother of Bey had approached her and talked to her in a courthouse waiting room as she was waiting to testify.
But Williams told Krum that she did not feel afraid or intimidated.
Bey IV is not charged with being the person who fatally shot Bailey and the other two victims in the case, Odell Roberson and Michael Wills, but Krum told jurors in her opening statement that Bey ordered others, including Mackey, to carry out the killings.
Former bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard testified recently that Bey IV ordered him to kill Bailey.
Broussard, 23, pleaded guilty in May 2009 to two counts of voluntary manslaughter for the deaths of Bailey and Roberson in a plea bargain in which prosecutors promised him a 25-year prison sentence in exchange for his testimony against Bey and Mackey.
Broussard said Mackey killed Wills and participated in the killings of Bailey and Roberson.
In other testimony Wednesday, Leslie Littleton, who was the district director for Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said Bey came to Lee’s office in July 2007 to ask for help in its bankruptcy court proceedings.
Littleton, who later served as the deputy chief of staff for former Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, said she wrote a form letter supporting the bakery but later decided that Lee’s office should not get involved because “I knew we couldn’t intervene in a legal matter.”
Dellums also wrote a letter in support of the bakery in the summer of 2007.
In August 2007, Lee issued a statement saying, “Like many people, I historically supported the bakery because it has been an important institution in the community, but it is clear that this is no longer the case.”
Lee said her office “would not have provided support” for the bakery if she had known about all of its problems.
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