A trial date was set today for former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV on three counts of murder for allegedly ordering the killings of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men in Oakland more than three years ago.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson ordered Bey and bakery associate Antoine Mackey, both 24, to stand trial on Nov. 8 in the courtroom of Judge Thomas Reardon. Mackey also faces three counts of murder.
Although the trial has been delayed numerous times, prosecutor Melissa Krum said she believes Nov. 8 is a firm date and won't be changed barring any unforeseen circumstances.
However, Krum said November and December will be devoted to pretrial motions in the case, and jury selection and evidence won't begin until after Jan. 1.
Bey is accused of ordering the fatal shooting of Bailey, 57, as he walked to his job as editor of the Oakland Post on the morning of Aug. 2, 2007. Bailey was working on a story about the bakery's financial problems.
On May 7, 2009, bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter for fatally shooting Bailey and another man, 31-year-old Odell Roberson Jr., who was killed on July 8, 2007.
Broussard, who faces a 25-year state prison term, told prosecutors that Bey ordered him to kill Bailey and also wanted him to kill Roberson because Roberson was the uncle of the man who was convicted of murdering Bey's older brother, Antar Bey, at an Oakland gas station on Oct. 25, 2005.
Broussard also told prosecutors that Bey IV ordered that 36-year-old Michael Wills be killed in Oakland on July 12, 2007. Broussard said Mackey killed Wills, helped lure Roberson to his death and drove the vehicle that was used in the killing of Bailey.
A plea agreement that Broussard, 22, signed with the Alameda County District Attorney's office on April 15, 2009, calls for him to testify against Bey and Mackey in return for being allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter charges instead of murder charges.
Reardon held a three-day hearing last week on a motion by lawyers for Bey and Mackey seeking to move their trial away from Alameda County because they don't think the pair can get a fair trial locally due to extensive publicity the case has received.
But on Tuesday, Reardon issued an order saying he will keep the case in Oakland for now and will defer ruling on the change-of-venue motion until after he sees how jury selection goes.