General Crime

*Oakland Devaughndre Broussard Says 36-Year-old Michael Wills Was Killed Because He Was White

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One of the three people killed in incidents for which Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV faces murder charges was targeted because he was white, according to a statement by bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard. In a statement that Broussard, 21, gave to Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Chris Lamiero on March 23 and 24, Broussard said Bey and bakery associate Antoine Mackey decided to kill 36-year-old Michael Wills in the early morning hours of July 12, 2007, after they discussed the “Zebra Murders.” The Zebra Murders were a string of incidents in San Francisco from October 1973 to April 1974 in which black suspects killed white victims Bey and Mackey are black, as is Broussard, and Wills was white.Broussard said Mackey told him shortly after Wills was killed that “they was conversating about the Zebra Killers and stuff like that and then he said they seen the white dude.”Broussard said Bey told him that the Zebra Killers “was some group of black men … running around killing white people.”He said Bey told him “they didn’t get arrested for years for the murders” but eventually started getting arrested because they committed robberies. Bey, 23, was indicted by an Alameda County criminal grand jury today on three counts of murder for allegedly being involved in the murder of Wills, the murder of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey on Aug. 2, 2007, and the murder of Odell Roberson on July 8, 2007, four days before Wills was killed.Bailey and Roberson were both black.Roberson, who was the uncle of the man convicted of murdering Bey’s brother, and Wills were both killed near the bakery’s headquarters at 5832 San Pablo Ave. in Oakland.Roberson was killed in the 1000 block of 60th Street and Wills was killed in the 6200 block of San Pablo Avenue.The grand jury also indicted Mackey for all three murders and Broussard for the murders of Bailey and Roberson. All three men also face special circumstance clauses for multiple murder, which could lead to the death penalty.In issuing the indictments, the grand jury relied in part on testimony by Broussard last week, according to Broussard’s attorney, LeRue Grim.
Broussard admitted in his statement to Lamiero that he killed both Bailey and Roberson but said he did so at Bey’s direction. Broussard said Bey wanted him to kill Bailey because Bey was upset about an article that Bailey was planning to write about the bakery’s financial problems. Shortly after Bailey was killed the bakery became bankrupt and went out of business. Broussard said he wasn’t involved in Wills’ death but said Bey and Mackey talked to him about it immediately afterward.According to Grim, Broussard agreed to plead guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter for the deaths of Bailey and Roberson.Grim said a plea agreement calls for Broussard to get a 25-year state prison sentence if he testifies truthfully against Bey and Mackey. In his statement, Broussard said Bey told him “he got a devil” after Wills was killed. Broussard said at first Bey “was using ‘devil’ like a white devil, like all white people are devils, and then he started using it in the term of a mentality.” Broussard said Bey explained that “a black man can be a devil also if he against his people.”The bakery handyman said Mackey told him that he shot Wills and then he ran back to Bey’s car and Bey quickly drove the two men back to the bakery, where they talked about the incident. Broussard said Mackey told him “I got one” and said Mackey and Bey both were “laughing about it and joking about it.”According to Broussard, Mackey said that after he shot Wills “his leg shot up like he kicked a field goal.” Broussard said Bey told him “we got a devil and then he was feeling like cocky like.”Defense attorney Anne Beles, who represents Bey in an unrelated case in which he and several associates are accused of kidnapping and torturing two women in Oakland in May 2007, said today that she hadn’t seen the indictment but “if there are other charges we will fight them vigorously as well.”Beles said, “We want to make sure that there is a fair and impartial jury in the kidnapping case and any other cases.”Beles noted that she has only been appointed to represent Bey in the kidnapping case and Bey doesn’t yet have a lawyer to represent him in the murder cases.

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