A judge today dismissed a kidnapping and torture case against Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and three associates, ruling that they didn’t clearly waive their right to have a preliminary hearing in one continuous session. However, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon said, “It doesn’t sound like any of the gentleman will be getting out of custody” because prosecutor Greg Dolge plans to immediately refile charges against Bey and the other defendants, and they are scheduled to be arraigned again Monday. Outside court, Dolge said, “I do not expect them to be released” because the case will be filed again. In addition, Bey and the other defendants also face charges in other cases. Reardon dismissed the case reluctantly, saying he was forced to do so by appellate court rulings in other cases involving the so-called one-session rule. The judge said, “I don’t think it’s a good rule” and told Dolge, “I agree it doesn’t make sense.” The case against Bey, 23, his half-brother Yusuf Bey V, 22, Tamon Halfin, 22, and Richard Lewis, 24, stems from allegations that they kidnapped and tortured two women in Oakland on May, 17, 2007, to get money from them. A fifth defendant in the case, 19-year-old Joshua Bey, the half-brother of both Yusuf IV and Yusuf V, pleaded guilty Jan. 29, 2008, to a single count of kidnapping and is slated to receive a three-year prison term in return for testifying against the other men. If they’re convicted, Yusuf Bey and the other three remaining defendants could face life in prison without the possibility of parole. The preliminary hearing in the case began on Jan. 24, 2008, and met on intermittent dates through Aug. 8, 2008, when Judge Eric Labowitz
ruled that prosecutors presented enough evidence to warrant having Bey and the other three remaining defendants stand trial Andrea Auer, the attorney for Yusuf Bey V, argued in a motion joined in by all the other lawyers in the case that on Jan. 24, 2008, the defendants and attorneys only agreed to waive the one-session rule through the next date that the preliminary hearing was held, which was on Feb. 1, 2008. Auer said Labowitz, a visiting judge from Mendocino County, failed to get the defendants to agree to further postponements after the Feb. 1, 2008, hearing, even though most of the postponements were at the request of defense attorneys. Dolge said he thinks it was “unclear” whether the defendants only entered a one-time “limited” waiver of the one-session rule or a “general” waiver that extended throughout the preliminary hearing.Dolge said the fact that none of the defense lawyers raised thewaiver issue during the preliminary hearing indicates that everyone assumed that general waivers had been entered by the defendants. Auer, who entered the case after the preliminary hearing, said she raised the waiver issue to “guarantee the integrity of the system.” She said, “It’s incumbent on the court (the judge) to get a waiver.” Yusuf Bey IV smiled and his family members reacted happily after the charges were dismissed. His lawyer, Annie Beles, said, “The initial reaction is joy” when charges are dismissed but she told his family members that he wouldn’t be released from custody. “There are still battles to be fought on other issues in this case,” Beles said. In a separate case, on July 30, 2008, Bey, the son of bakery founder Yusuf Bey, pleaded no contest to eight felony counts, including vandalism, false imprisonment, civil rights violations and hate crimes, in connection with vandalism incidents at two West Oakland liquor stores on Nov. 23, 2005. He still hasn’t been sentenced in that case, but the plea agreement calls for Bey, to receive a three-year state prison term. Bey also faces charges in other counties around the Bay Area. In 2006, he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly trying to use his BMW to run down several bouncers after being thrown out of a San Francisco strip club. He also faced felony charges in Solano County for allegedly fraudulently using false identification to buy a car. In addition, on Aug. 7, 2007, the same day that he initially was charged in the kidnapping and torture case, Bey was charged with 12 felony counts for an alleged real estate scam in Alameda County.The charges against him are real estate fraud, forgery, grand theft, filing false documents, obtaining money under false pretenses, possession of a forged driver’s license and identity theft.
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