Devaughndre Broussard was looking up towards the ceiling as he sat at the witness stand on Monday afternoon. He nodded his head rhythmically, mouthing the lyrics to a song that only he could hear. His former colleagues at Your Black Muslim Bakery, Yusuf Bey IV and Antoine Mackey, sat at the center table in the defendant’s seats, their heads tilted so their gaze rested squarely on Broussard. He did not meet their stare, however, but continued twitching his eyes back and forth to different areas of the ceiling, making eye contact with no one in the court as he waited for the return of a private conference between the men and women running the courtroom: Judge Thomas Reardon, Prosecutor Melissa Krum, and Bey and Mackey’s lawyers, Gene Peretti and Gary Sirbu, respectively.
Broussard was about to give his third round of testimony in the murder trial against Bey and Mackey. The two men are accused of ordering and organizing the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey, as well as Odell Roberson and Michael Wills. Broussard was about to testify to his deep loyalty to Bey, just as he betrayed that loyalty by taking the witness stand in exchange for a lesser sentence for his role in the murders. Broussard has confessed to shooting both Bailey and Roberson, and claims he did so under Bey’s orders.
But Broussard still seemed to show some reverence for the man he had betrayed: he mentioned during his testimony that in the days before he was killed, he and Bey had encountered Roberson outside of the bakery, and Bey had given Roberson some food. When Prosecutor Krum asked why, Broussard said Bey “is a kind dude. He’s generous.”
Broussard claims he was part of an inner circle of personal agents for Bey, who in addition to shifts at Your Black Muslim Bakery, would serve as a security detail for Bey in public, as well as taking on special assignments that required more discretion. “As I understood it [Bey] needed people to depend on,” Broussard said.
Early in Broussard’s testimony, Krum asked him about the rhetoric at Your Black Muslim Bakery meetings, and whether he had ever heard Yusuf Bey IV use the term “white devil” at meetings. He said that yes, Bey did use the term, and Krum asked whether Broussard believed all white people were devils.
“Some white people do be devils,” he said.
“But some are not?”
“Some are not.”
The first murder that Broussard recounted was the murder of Odell Roberson, who was killed at the corner of 60th and Herzog at around midnight on July 8, 2007. It was in late June that Broussard first became aware of Roberson.
Alfonza Phillips was convicted in October 2005 of killing Antar Bey, Yusuf Bey IV’s brother and the head of the bakery at the time of his murder. Broussard said that he attended Phillips’ hearings with Bey, wearing suits and bow ties, and Bey pointed out Phillips’ family to him. Bey asked Broussard to track Phillips’ father in preparation to kill him, but Broussard was never able to discern enough of a routine to have that opportunity.
Broussard learned that the man Bey gave food to outside of the bakery was in fact Phillips’ uncle, Odell Roberson.
“And he’s still walkin around?” he asked Bey.
“That’s why we need more brothers like you,” Bey responded.
Roberson was a drug addict and he mostly hung around the area of the bakery and a liquor store at San Pablo Ave and 60th St. “He’d like to get down with the bakery but he got that habit,” Broussard explained.
In the subsequent days, Bey asked Broussard to do some research on Roberson, since they had not managed to kill Phillips’ father, and Broussard watched him from the local liquor store and in the surrounding neighborhood.
On July 8 at around midnight, Broussard and Mackey did a security patrol around the area of Your Black Muslim Bakery. Mackey was carrying an assault rifle. Roberson approached them to ask for “work” but Broussard took that to mean he was looking for drugs, and told Roberson to come around the corner with them. Broussard took the assault rifle from Mackey and said “I got this.”
Broussard pointed the gun at Roberson. Krum asked Broussard what Roberson’s reaction was to the assault rifle aimed at him; Broussard rolled his eyes and laughed, “It looked like he was going to run.” He fired 8-10 rounds into Roberson’s chest and continued firing after Roberson fell, emptying the clip while Mackey watched. The next day, he showed Bey a newspaper to prove what he did.
“Why’d you kill him?” Krum asked Broussard.
“Because Yusuf Bey IV told me to,” he responded.
Days later, Broussard encountered Mackey and Bey after they had shot a white man, Michael Wills, in a nearby park as part of a “zebra killer” action, killing white people for what Broussard explained as “a taste of their own medicine.” That medicine, he said, was “lynching and murdering black people.”
Boussard was in Mackey’s bedroom with both Mackey and Bey after the shooting, in the apartment next door to the bakery that Broussard shared with Mackey and another man. Mackey and Bey recounted the murder of Wills, they saiid that Mackey had shot Wills in the leg as he was trying to escape, and that his leg had flown out from under him, like a kicker kicking a field goal. Bey and Mackey imitated the motion of his leg, and then raised their hands over their heads like referees, saying ‘It’s good!”
Later, Broussard walked down San Pablo Ave and saw the body for himself.
Broussard testifed that he first heard the name Chauncey Bailey in early August of 2007, only days before he was murdered, when Bey showed Broussard, Mackey and others a video of his father’s funeral. He paused the video from time to time to point out family members, and stopped at Bailey and said: “That’s the motherfucker that killed my father.”
Bey said that Bailey had written articles about sexual allegations against his father, charges that were still pending when he died in 2003. He believed Bailey was in the process of writing an article about bankruptcy proceedings that threatened to liquidate the bakery, about the internal power struggles and violence that had been happening within the bakery since Bey I’s death.
Broussard was aware of the financial troubles the bakery faced, and had attended a meeting in a security capacity between Yusuf Bey IV, representatives from Rep. Barbara Lee’s office, and Ali Saleem Bey, another associate of the bakery who was married to Bey IV’s sister. Saleem Bey had organized the meeting hoping to shore up political support to keep the bakery from being liquidated, and restore the political organization to its former prominence. But following the meeting, Lee’s office withdrew its support, and Bey IV believed that Saleem had instead taken the story to Bailey.
Bey told Broussard and Mackey to spy on Bailey, to figure out where he lived, how he got to work, and what his routine was like. Mackey and Broussard took Bey’s black Dodge Charger to the Oakland Post on the afternoon of August 1, and waited outside for Bailey to leave.
While they waited, Broussard became drowsy, and walked around the neighborhood to wake up. While he was walking, he saw a dark SUV he believed belonged to Saleem Bey, which Mackey confirmed. Bey IV came to the area to see for himself.
“That’s that motherfucker up there right now fuckin with dude,” Bey told them when he arrived. “He said we should get him too but his sister would be mad,” Broussard added.
Mackey and Broussard stayed, and watched both entrances to the Post building to make sure they saw when Bailey left. Eventually Mackey saw him leave from the front door, and wait on the street for a bus. They followed the bus to a 2-story apartment building on 1st Ave, between International Blvd and E 15th St. near a popular taco truck, Tacos Mi Rancho. They waited at the taco truck for several hours watching the building.
They returned to the bakery to inform Bey they had found Bailey’s address. Broussard believed this was a Tuesday or Wednesday (it was a Wednesday) and Bey thought the article would come out on Friday, so they were instructed to commit the murder as soon as possible. “He wanted us to take him out before he finished writing the article,” Broussard said.
They returned to Bailey’s neighborhood to walk around and determine a plan for killing Bailey. The eventually decided that Mackey would drive, and Broussard would be the shooter. They would park the van on 15th St and Mackey would keep watch for Bailey, and alert Broussard when he saw Bailey come out of his building. They returned to the bakery where Bey supplied Broussard with the Mossberg shotgun believed to have killed Bailey.
Broussard spent part of the night in his bedroom, cleaning and loading the shotgun, and accidentally shot a slug into his bedroom wall. Mackey woke him up early the next morning.
Broussard dressed in all black: black pants, t-shirt, shoes, hoodie, with camouflaged gloves and a half black, half camouflaged ski mask that covered the bottom half of his face. They borrowed a white van from “a Mexican guy named Rico” who was a handyman around the bakery, removed the plates, and headed towards Bailey’s house.
Mackey was to alert Broussard by cell phone when he had seen Bailey. He was to call, and Broussard would immediately hang up, knowing that he had his signal. He ran from the van, parked on 15th St, behind the taco truck to Bailey’s building, but didn’t see Bailey there. A bus was stopped out front, and Broussard looked in the windows of the bus and around the sidewalk, masked, gloved and holding the Mossberg. He didn’t see Bailey anywhere.
They returned to the van and proceeded down 1st Ave looking for Bailey. While turning Lake Merritt, they saw him walking, but Mackey thought the area was too dangerous.
Time constraints made Krum stop the testimony there. A sick juror has delayed future testimony until Monday, when they will begin with Broussard’s account of the murder of Chauncey Bailey.