Thomas Peele, Josh Richman and Bob Butler report in the Oakland Tribune that as members of victims' families cried in a crowded courtroom Friday, former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and an associate were sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men in 2007.
"Never did I think in my wildest dreams Chauncey's life would end because of a story," Bailey's former wife, Robin Hardin-Bailey, told Judge Thomas Reardon before he imposed consecutive life sentences on Bey IV and Antoine Mackey, both 25.
Bailey "didn't dislike you," Hardin-Bailey said to Bey IV, who sat a few feet in front of her in shackles and a red jail jumpsuit, sometimes turning to watch her.
"He was a journalist in his heart," she said. "I forgive you because the Chauncey Bailey who I know, the Chauncey Bailey who came here to right the wrongs, to tell the story of people who had no voice, I believe that he would forgive you, too."
The sentences cap a saga that captured national media attention and hastened the downfall of a notorious Oakland institution.
Bailey, 57, the editor of the Oakland Post and a former Oakland Tribune reporter, was shot dead Aug. 2, 2007, while working on a story about the bakery's troubled finances. His confessed killer, Devaughndre Broussard, testified that Bey IV ordered him and Mackey to "take (Bailey) out before he write that story."
A jury on June 9 convicted Bey IV of ordering Bailey's killing and Mackey of helping Broussard carry it out. Bey IV was also convicted of ordering two other men, Michael Wills and Odell Roberson, shot dead in July 2007. Mackey was convicted of killing Wills; jurors couldn't reach a verdict on whether Mackey was guilty of murder in Roberson's death.