Jury selection in the triple-murder trial of Yusuf Bey IV and his associate Antoine Mackey doesn't begin until January, but a number of salient details about the crime spree connected to Oakland's Your Black Muslim Bakery have already come out in pretrial hearings. Among the sensational bits coming from the prosecution that we're sure to be hearing more of on local news in coming months:
- Journalist Chauncey Bailey was allegedly murdered in part because of libelous things he'd previously written about Bey's father, Yusuf Bey, who died in 2003 while serving a prison term for child molestation, among other things. But they also were trying to "kill" the story he was working on concerning the bakery's financial trouble.
- The 2007 murder of Odell Robertson, Jr. was a revenge killing. Robertson was the uncle of a woman convicted of carjacking and murdering Antar Bey at a gas station in 2005.
- And the most disturbing story from the prosecution: Michael Willis, a 33-year-old white man, was killed while walking on the street for reasons of "racial animus." Bey and Mackey were sitting in a car discussing the Zebra Killers who randomly murdered white people in S.F. in the 70s as a means of seeking revenge for historical lynchings of blacks. While having this discussion, they saw Michael Willis walking down the street. Bey pulled the car over, Mackey got out, and shot and killed Willis, as some kind of spontaneous nod to the Zebra Murders.
The prosecution is currently trying to put into evidence several other crimes, including the 2007 kidnapping of two women, as a means of showing a jury the pattern of craziness that went down that year as the bakery tried to avoid bankruptcy.