Your Black Muslim Bakery associate Antoine Mackey testified today that he didn’t have anything to do with the murders of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men in Oakland in the summer of 2007. Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and Mackey, both 25, are each charged with three counts of murder for the deaths of Bailey, 57, Odell Roberson Jr., 31, and Michael Wills, 36. Closing arguments were expected to begin in the case this morning, but Mackey took the witness stand in an unexpected last-minute move. It now appears that closing arguments will begin either late today or Wednesday morning, depending on when prosecutor Melissa Krum begins cross-examining Mackey. Krum told jurors in her opening statement back on March 21 that she believes that Bey ordered the killing of all three victims although he didn’t personally kill any of them. She said she believes Bey wanted to have Bailey killed to prevent Bailey from publishing an article he was working on about the financial situation at the bakery, which was in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings. The bakery went bankrupt and was closed in late 2007. Bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard, 23, testified that he killed Bailey on Aug. 2, 2007, at Bey’s direction and said Mackey drove him to and from the murder scene. Broussard also admitted that he killed Roberson on July 8, 2007, but said Mackey was with him and handed him the gun that was used in the shooting. Krum said Bey ordered that Roberson be killed to avenge the shooting death of his brother, 23-year-old Antar Bey, at a gas station at 55th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way on Oct. 25, 2005, because Roberson was the uncle Alfonza Phillips, who was convicted of murdering Antar Bey. Broussard pleaded guilty on May 7, 2009, to two counts of voluntary manslaughter for fatally shooting both Bailey and Roberson and was promised a 25-year state prison term in exchange for his testimony against Bey and Mackey. Broussard also testified that Bey ordered Mackey to kill Wills on July 12, 2007. Mackey, dressed in a light orange shirt and a brown tie, said he was working at bakery at the time Bailey was killed. When his attorney, Gary Sirbu, asked him if he had anything to do with the murder of Bailey, Mackey said, “No.” Mackey also said he wasn’t involved in the fatal shootings of Roberson and Wills. Mackey testified that Broussard was upset at him because he’d had sex with several women that Broussard also was involved with. Sirbu previously said he thinks the reason that Broussard implicated Mackey in all three murders is that Broussard was angry at him because they were both involved with the same women. Mackey appeared to take the witness stand against the advice of Sirbu, as the two men huddled with Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon Monday afternoon at a hearing at which Krum and Bey’s lawyer, Gene Peretti, were excluded. When Sirbu asked him today why he was testifying, Mackey said, “I want to tell my side of the story.” Krum will begin cross-examining Mackey after the jury’s lunch break today.
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