OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ The admitted killer of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey, who laughingly recounted from the witness stand still another murder he committed, resumes his testimony Monday against two members of a once-influential community group who are also charged in the crimes.
Key witness Devaughndre Broussard is expected to provide additional details about how he assassinated Bailey in broad daylight in downtown Oakland, allegedly on the orders of former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV and with the assistance of ex-bakery associate Antoine Mackey.
But legal experts say Broussard's behavior during two prior days of testimony_including laughing about two other murders and struggling with routine questions_could seriously undercut his credibility with jurors.
They also say it could hurt the prosecution and give Bey's and Mackey's defense attorneys a strong opening to attack Broussard as untrustworthy.
"A witness like that can't ever be fully prepared," said Steven Clark, a Bay Area defense attorney and former prosecutor. "His body language and demeanor will be strongly considered by the jury. If they feel he's unstable and not credible, then his testimony isn't going to help."
Broussard, a 23-year-old former handyman, has admitted killing Bailey with three blasts from a shotgun on Aug. 2, 2007 and he has agreed to testify against Bey and Mackey in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence.
Bey, 25, is accused of ordering the deaths of Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post, and two others in 2007. Mackey, 25, is accused of killing one of the men, assisting in the death of a second man and driving the getaway car after Bailey's slaying. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Broussard told jurors last week that Bey wanted Bailey dead to stop an investigative piece about the bakery's financial troubles from being published.
During breaks, Broussard sometimes looked up at the ceiling and appeared to be praying out loud. He burst into laughter when describing two deaths.
He said that Mackey handed him a shotgun that he used to kill a homeless drug addict who was trying to run away. "I said, 'Stop or I'm going to fire.'" He burst into laughter and turned his head away.
Broussard also laughed as he recalled Mackey describing the shooting death of a man whose leg flew into the air as though he were kicking a football. Broussard said he, Bey and Mackey all joked about the killing.
Asked about Broussard's behavior, his attorney, LeRue Grim, said last week he made no special effort to "polish" Broussard up for jurors and expects his client to speak truthfully.
"The jury should see Devaughndre Broussard for who he is," Grim said. "A more sophisticated, educated person laughing at someone being killed would mean they are insensitive and uncaring. Those who live out on the street, they just see things differently."
The defense attorneys for Bey and Mackey have contended Broussard is a liar, and they intend to bring up his behavior, including his laughter.
"I think it's bizarre," said Gene Peretti, Bey's attorney. "I think it's odd and peculiar. He certainly does it at inappropriate times in terms of (describing) murdering and killing people. It's frankly quite chilling."
San Francisco Bay Area defense attorney Michael Cardoza said jurors will have to weigh what Broussard says, no matter how his testimony is delivered.
"A play cast in hell doesn't have angels for witnesses, so you've got to expect guys like this to inarticulate their story," said Cardoza. "Sometimes you have to make a deal with the devil to get to a bigger devil."
Pictued Above is Chauncey Bailey