Black Muslim bakery leader ordered to stand trial for vandalism, hate crimes

Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and three colleagues have been ordered to stand trial on charges that they vandalized two West Oakland liquor stores on Nov. 23, 2005.

At the conclusion of a preliminary hearing that started back on May 8 and met on numerous scattered dates since then, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Carlos Ynostroza ruled on Monday that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence against the four men to have them stand trial.

Bey, 21, the son of bakery founder Yusuf Bey, Donald Cunningham, Kahill Raheem and Dyamen Williams are charged with multiple counts of felony vandalism, false imprisonment and hate crimes.

Initially, a total of eight adult defendants, plus one juvenile, were charged in connection with extensive vandalism at the New York Market at 3446 Market St. and the San Pablo Liquor Store at 2363 San Pablo Ave. on the night of Nov. 23, 2005, which was the night before Thanksgiving that year.

The hate crime allegations against the defendants stem from allegations that they asked the clerks at the liquor stores why a Muslim-owned business would sell liquor when it's against the teachings of Islam to do so.

Two defendants, Tamon Halfin and James Watts, pleaded no contest to felony vandalism in 2006 and were sentenced to five years' probation.

Charges were dropped against two other defendants because of a lack of evidence.

Your Black Muslin Bakery has been in the news since last summer because bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard, 19, is accused of murdering Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey on Aug. 3. Oakland police say Broussard told them he killed Bailey because he didn't like articles Bailey had written about the bakery as well as future stories that the journalist was researching.

And Bey, 21, and four other bakery colleagues, including Halfin, who was free on probation, are accused of kidnapping and torturing two women in Oakland last May 17. The preliminary hearing in that case is scheduled to start on Jan. 24.

Defense lawyers in the liquor store vandalism case raised questions about the credibility of the prosecution's witnesses and the reliability of the identifications of the four defendants as the culprits involved in the acts of vandalism.

Defense lawyers delayed the start of the preliminary hearing by asking that prosecutors be ordered to disclose the names of confidential informants in the case.

But after several months of hearings and legal briefs, Judge Morris Beatus denied their request last Feb. 21.

Barry Morris, Raheem's lawyer, said he and other defense lawyers don't think the incidents were hate crimes because the defendants are Muslims and the only thing they hated was selling liquor.

Bay City News

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