A gunman testified Monday that he shot a California journalist three times in broad daylight on a downtown Oakland street to make sure he completed the killing ordered by the leader of a once-influential community group.
Devaughndre Broussard, the key witness in the triple murder trial of Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and another man, testified that he left after shooting Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey twice, then returned and shot him again in the head.
Bey is accused of ordering the killing of Bailey in 2007 because he was investigating the financially troubled bakery for a story.
Alameda County prosecutor Melissa Krum asked Broussard why he returned for the third shot.
"To make sure he's dead," Broussard said. "Three times would've made it for certain."
Why, Krum asked.
"Because he wasn't supposed to live," Broussard replied.
"According to?" Krum asked.
"Yusuf Bey IV," Broussard answered.
Broussard, 23, told jurors in Alameda County Superior Court that he was wearing a mask when he stalked and killed Bailey.
Bailey's brother, Errol Cooley, said Broussard's described the killing like he was shooting at a dog.
"Just to watch up there was kind of hard. It was devastating, actually," Cooley said. "The bottom line is that he was just a pawn."
Broussard pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter after striking a plea deal that required him to testify for the prosecution against Bey, 25, and bakery associate Antoine Mackey, also 25, who is accused of participating in Bailey's murder and two others.
Defense attorneys have called Broussard a liar. And Bey's attorney, Gene Peretti, wasted no time during a cross-examination to try to damage Broussard's credibility.
"Do you lie when it feels advantageous to you?' Peretti asked Broussard.
"It depends," Broussard said.
"How about when your life is on the line?" Peretti asked. "Some circumstances you might lie, you might not?"
"Yes," Broussard said.
Broussard said he agreed to take the deal and cooperate with authorities because he felt abandoned after the way Bey and Mackey treated him following his arrest for the shooting.
"I was like '(expletive), I'm going to tell them and it's going to be what it's going to be," Broussard said. "'Bey brought all this (expletive) on us.'"
He said after police raided the bakery the day after Bailey's death, Bey told him after his arrest that he had to take the fall for the fatal shooting to prove his Islamic faith. He said neither Bey nor Mackey reached out to him behind bars.
"I felt betrayed. I felt betrayed because of everything," Broussard said. "I felt like, 'Man, I was let down.'"
Although appearing calmer at times Monday than he did during his previous two days on the witness stand, Broussard's testimony continued to be punctuated by inexplicable laughter and profanity-laced responses during Peretti's questioning.
Broussard laughed when he said Mackey had to go see his probation officer in San Francisco just hours after Bailey's death on Aug. 2, 2007.
Broussard said he and Mackey, who's accused of being the getaway driver, went back to the bakery after the killing and told Bey it was done. Together, the three men drove by the crime scene. Bey later hugged Broussard and Mackey and said he loved them, according to the testimony.
Bey and Mackey also are charged in the murders of Odell Roberson and Michael Wills. The defendants have pleaded not guilty to murder charges.
Prosecutors said Bey ordered Broussard to kill Roberson in retaliation for the murder of Bey's brother by Roberson's nephew.
Mackey is accused of killing Wills at random after he and Bey had a conversation about the Zebra murders, a string of racially motivated black-on-white killings in San Francisco in the 1970s. Bey and Mackey are black, and Wills was white.
Also Monday, a juror was removed because he works at as a maintenance worker Alameda County hospital where Bey's half-brother was being treated. Alameda County Judge Thomas Reardon said the juror feared reprisal if Bey received a guilty verdict.