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Kidnap-torture jury selection under way

March 1, 2010 at 9:46 PM   |   Comments

OAKLAND, Calif., March 1 (UPI) -- Jurors are being seated to hear the case of an Oakland, Calif., man charged with the kidnap and torture of two women over money for a bakery, documents show.

Richard Lewis, 26, allegedly kidnapped the women May 17, 2007, attempting to learn where an alleged drug dealer stashed his money, the Contra Costa Times reported Sunday.

The alleged motive for the crime, Prosecutor Christopher Lamiero said in pretrial hearings last month, was to get money to support Your Black Muslim Bakery, owned by an associate of Lewis, Yusuf Bey IV.

Bey IV had stopped paying taxes and was more than $1 million in debt, resulting from the collapse of the bakery in 2007, the newspaper said.

Lewis faces 13 felony charges and a life sentence if convicted.

Two of Bey IV's half-brothers -- Yusuf Bey V, 23, and Joshua Bey, 22 -- have pleaded guilty in the case and are said to be willing to testify against Lewis.

Police are investigating a possible connection between Bey IV and at least one killing, that of journalist Chauncey Bailey, the Times said.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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