A prosecutor today ridiculed a defense attorney’s claim that the shooting death of former Your Black Muslim Bakery chief executive Antar Bey at an Oakland gas station two years ago was due to an ongoing power struggle at the bakery.
In her rebuttal closing argument in the murder trial of Alfonza Phillips, 22, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Colleen McMahon told jurors that defense attorney Leonard Ulfelder’s claim that Bey’s death was a well-planned assassination is “speculation” and “is completely unsupported by any of the facts you heard in this trial.”
McMahon said “there’s not a shred of evidence” to support Ulfelder’s claim, as Ulfelder didn’t present any witnesses to back up his assassination theory.
Bey, 23, was shot to death at the Union 76 gas station at 55th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way around 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2005.
McMahon said she believes the incident was “a classic example of a carjacking gone bad” and Phillips targeted Bey because he wanted to steal Bey’s $75,000 BMW 745 sedan both because he wanted to have the car and because he wanted to give its “very expensive” 22-inch rims to his girlfriend, U.S. Postal Service employee Althea Foy, now 24.
McMahon said to jurors, “This incident was a hit? If that were the case, the shooter would have made darn sure that he [Bey] was dead and shot him multiple times.”
Instead, Bey, who was talking on his cell phone at the time he was killed, was shot only once, in his head, McMahon said.
McMahon also disputed Ulfelder’s claim that it was illogical that Phillips would have wanted to do a carjacking at a gas station ona busy street.
McMahon says crimes often occur on busy streets in Oakland because criminals know that witnesses often are too afraid to come forward and testify against them.
In the case of Bey’s shooting death, gas station videotapes indicate that a witness who had a good view of the incident drove away immediately afterward and never contacted authorities, McMahon said.
“This crime didn’t happen in Pleasantville, Iowa, where the biggest crime might be jaywalking,” McMahon said. “This happened in Oakland.”
She said a police officer testified in the case that Oakland “is a small city with big city crime.”
Jurors will begin deliberating Phillips’ fate later today, after they get legal instructions from Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson.
— Bay City News