OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Witnesses on Tuesday recalled the scene where an Oakland journalist was shot and killed in broad daylight, with the first police officer to respond to the shooting three years ago describing a gruesome discovery.
“He was missing part of his face, his head,'' Oakland police officer Trent Thompson said in Alameda County Superior Court, where the second day of a trial for two men charged in Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey's death was under way.
Prosecutors began calling their first witnesses. Among them are people who were near the scene of Bailey's shooting, police officers and a crime scene technician.
Bailey was gunned down on August 2, 2007. Former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusef Bey IV and co-defendant Antoine Mackey, both 25, are accused of murder in the case.
The men are also being tried in the murders of two other men not connected to Bailey or his newspaper investigation.
When he was shot, Bailey had been investigating a story on the troubled nonprofit bakery's financial woes.
Bey is accused of ordering the killings; Mackey is accused of killing one man, driving the getaway van in Bailey's death and assisting in the death of a second man.
Bey's lawyer, Gene Peretti and Mackey's lawyer, Gary Sirbu on Tuesday opted not to give their opening statements to the jury. Peretti later said both lawyers were uncertain if they would give any opening remarks.
Jia Hong Zhou, 67, testified through a Cantonese translator he was standing outside his job at a downtown adult day health care center when he saw a masked gunman in dark clothing fire two shots that sounded like “firecrackers'' at another man at close range.
“Pow! Pow!'' said Zhou, pointing his finger as if he were holding a gun.
Zhou said he then saw the gunman take “about four to five steps'' away before stopping and returning to fire one last shot at the victim.
The gunman then hopped in a white van that sped off, Zhou testified.
Zhou's account is somewhat similar to the previous testimony of gunman Devaughndre Broussard, who struck a plea deal two years ago and is expected to testify again during the trial.
Broussard, now 23, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and will be sentenced to 25 years in prison in exchange for his testimony.
Broussard previously testified that he was dressed in black and wore a mask when he shot a stunned Bailey on a downtown street in daylight.
Broussard said he had already shot Bailey twice when he recalled how Bey had preached about being focused during the attack.
“I'm like, let me make sure,'' Broussard testified. “I ran back, pointed at his head … `Bam!,' and I broke.''
Broussard testified that he and Mackey, who allegedly drove the getaway car, told Bey the murder was a “done deal.''
Later, Broussard said, Bey asked, “So, what do his inside look like?''
Together, all three men drove by the crime scene, and Bey congratulated them on the job, Broussard testified.
On Monday, Peretti told reporters that Broussard is lying.
“He's completely inconsistent with his tale,'' Peretti said. “I think the jury going to see he's a liar.