WI Online Editor
After two months of testimony and 10 days of deliberations, a jury in Oakland, Calif., has convicted Yusuf Bey IV, 25, the former leader of "Your Black Muslim Bakery," of three counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of newspaper editor Chauncey Bailey and two other men.
The conviction also sent the message that the murder of a journalist in this country will not be tolerated, prosecutor Melissa Krum said.
"The First Amendment is not going to be murdered by murdering journalists," Krum told the San Francisco Chronicle. "You cannot kill the man and expect the message to be killed."
Bailey, who edited the Oakland Post, was shot to death on Aug. 2, 2007 as he walked to work.
Bey’s co-defendant, Antoine Mackey, 25, – who drove the getaway car – was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for the killings of Bailey and Michael Wills, 36, according to the Chronicle.
Bey had ordered former bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard – the prosecution’s star witness – to pull the trigger. Broussard admitted shooting Bailey, saying that Bey wanted the editor dead to keep him from going forward with an article he planned to publish regarding the bakery’s financial troubles, according to an ABC News affiliate in San Francisco. In a plea deal, Broussard will serve 25 years in exchange for his testimony.
Neither Bey nor Mackey – both of whom face life terms in prison without the possibility of parole – showed any emotion as the verdicts were read. They face sentencing on July 8 and their attorneys said they plan to appeal.
The jury was split on a third count involving the murder of Odell Roberson Jr., 31, and as a result, the judge declared a mistrial on that charge.
Bailey’s relatives commented after court that justice had been served.
"Journalists have a job to do and they should not be squashed in what they do, and unfortunately that’s what they tried to do with Chauncey," his cousin, Wendy Ashley-Johnson, told ABC7 News.
Bey’s mother, Daulet Bey, who reportedly missed the reading of the verdict after showing up late, said she believes in her son’s innocence. "Ultimately, God has the final decision and that’s what I rest upon," she said.