A man charged with killing an Oakland journalist has agreed to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and testify that another person ordered the slaying to prevent publication of a critical article, the lawyer for the man said Thursday.
The plea agreement is expected to lead to murder charges against Yusef Bey IV, who ran the Your Black Muslim Bakery. The Oakland bakery started nearly 40 years ago as an effort to promote African American empowerment and turned into a cult whose members were involved in crimes.
Chauncey Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post, was gunned down Aug. 2, 2007, when he stopped for breakfast on his way to work. The killing angered journalists worldwide and prompted many to devote long hours to uncovering the events that led to his death.
LeRue J. Grim, attorney for Devaughndre Broussard, 21, said his client has agreed to plead guilty to two charges of voluntary manslaughter and to testify against Bey and another man in Bailey’s killing and two others.
In exchange, prosecutors have promised Broussard a 25-year prison sentence, which Grim said would go before a judge for approval within the next three weeks.
Grim said he had expected that his client, who previously confessed to killing Bailey and then recanted, to serve 20 years. “He is talking about who did three different murders, two of which the D.A. and the police didn’t know anything about,” Grim said.
He said Broussard will tell a grand jury what he knows Monday and Tuesday and testify at later trials if necessary. Broussard will not be sentenced until the trials of the other men are completed, Grim said.
Alameda County Deputy Dist. Atty. Chris Lamiero declined to comment on the case Thursday, but did not dispute Grim’s statements.
Grim said his client would testify that Bey ordered him to kill Bailey because Bey believed the journalist was working on an article critical of the bakery’s finances.
Broussard also will testify that he killed another man at Bey’s behest and that a third man was involved in Bailey’s killing and shot and killed someone else under orders from Bey, Grim said.
Your Black Muslim Bakery started in the early 1970s as a show of black defiance but developed into a polygamist cult that attracted many ex-convicts. Grim said Bey “convinced” his client, a bakery handyman, that Bailey and others were enemies of the “brotherhood of Muslims.”
The Chauncey Bailey Project, formed by journalists to investigate the case, reported on its website Wednesday that murder charges were “imminent” against Bey, who already is behind bars for several other crimes.
Anne Beles, an Oakland attorney who has represented Bey in other cases, could not be reached for comment.