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4 in Black Muslim group to stand trial

Aug. 10, 2008 at 1:52 AM

OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Four members of a controversial Muslim group in Oakland, Calif., should be tried on charges of kidnapping and torturing two women last year, a judge has ruled.

Yusuf Bey IV, his half-brother, Yusuf Bey V, Richard Lewis and Tamon Halfin face life in prison if they are convicted, The Oakland Tribune reported. A judge found sufficient evidence against the four Friday after a four-hour hearing.

A fifth defendant, Joshua Bey, has pleaded guilty and agreed to testify for the prosecution.

The defendants were part of Your Black Muslim Bakery, founded by Yusuf Bey, who died in 2003. Bey started the operation in 1968 and moved it to Oakland in 1971.

Chauncey Bailey -- an experienced black journalist and editor of the Oakland Post who was investigating Your Black Muslim Bakery -- was shot on his way to work in 2007. Prosecutors say Bey IV has not been charged with the killing, partly because he will spend the rest of his life behind bars if convicted of kidnapping.

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