Yusuf Bey V, the half-brother of the man accused of killing Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey, pleaded no contest* Friday to one count of kidnapping and agreed to serve 10 years in prison in exchange for testifying against a codefendant, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lamiero said on Wednesday. (*corrected; we misstated that he'd pleaded guilty.)
But Bey V will not testify against half-brother Yusuf Bey IV, who is charged in the kidnapping case and also in Bailey’s murder, Lamiero said.
After the jump, Bey V is "very uncomfortable" ...
Bey V was originally charged in May 2007 with kidnapping, torture and possession of an assault weapon in connection with the kidnapping of a mother and daughter, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Four other men were originally charged in the kidnapping, including Bey IV, the leader of the now-defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland.
A grand jury indicted Bey IV in April for ordering the killings of Bailey and two other men. Bailey, the editor of the Oakland Post, was investigating the Bakery’s finances at the time of his murder. Bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard has confessed to Bailey’s murder, and is cooperating with prosecutors against Bey IV.
Among the other kidnapping defendants, Joshua Bey, another former Bakery member, pled guilty in 2008 and testified against his codefendants at their preliminary hearing. Since then, Bey IV and another man have had their case severed from Bey V and Richard Lewis, the man Bey V will testify against. Lewis, Bey IV and the third man, Tamon Halfin, now face trial, with Bey IV exposed to a possible life sentence.
Lamiero said that he thinks Bey V “was very uncomfortable with the idea of ever being asked to testify against his brother.”
Update note: There’s a pretrial hearing for Bey V and Richard Lewis (though not the other two kidnapping defendants) on Aug. 10.
— Evan Hill