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Fifth bakery member charged in kidnapping case

By Jeff Shuttleworth

October 18, 2007

A fifth associate of Your Black Muslim Bakery was charged today with kidnapping, torture and false imprisonment charges for an incident involving two women in Oakland on May 17, according to Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Tom Rogers.

Richard Lewis, 23, a former football star at Mission High School in San Francisco, is scheduled to be arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court on Friday.

The May 17 incident occurred only 15 days after a San Francisco jury acquitted him of murder, attempted murder and robbery charges stemming from a March 1, 2005, incident in the 1800 block of 18th Avenue in the city's Sunset District. Lewis had been in custody for two years but was released after he was acquitted.

Lewis was arrested at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse, which is across the street from Oakland police headquarters, Wednesday morning when he came to court for an unrelated case in which he's accused of using a fraudulent driver's license.

According to prosecutors and Oakland police, the suspects in the May 17 incident allegedly kidnapped a mother and daughter as the women drove home from a bingo hall in East Oakland. The suspects allegedly believed the women could reveal where a local drug dealer kept his money.

The suspects pretended to be police officers and used flashing lights on their car, a decommissioned police cruiser, to get the women to pull over, according to a declaration filed in court by Oakland police officer Jesse Grant.

The women were driven to an abandoned home in Oakland where the daughter was assaulted.

The suspects fled when an Oakland police officer saw the modified the car and heard the daughter's screams. The officer then rescued the women.

On Aug. 7, four days after Oakland police and other agencies conducted a massive raid at Your Black Muslim Bakery headquarters in Oakland, prosecutors charged bakery leader Yusuf Bey IV, 21, and associates Joshua Bey, 20, and Tamon Halfin, 21, with seven felony counts.

Last week, prosecutors filed identical charges against a fourth defendant, Yusuf Bey V, the half brother of Yusuf Bey IV and Joshua Bey.

The three Bey half-brothers were all fathered by bakery founder Yusuf Bey, who died in 2003 while awaiting trial on child molestation charges, but have different mothers.

If they're convicted, the suspects face life in prison without the possibility of parole for a charge of aggravated kidnapping for ransom and extortion and an additional term of life with the possibility of parole for kidnapping to commit robbery.

Deputy District Attorney Scott Patton said Lewis's case will be consolidated with the case against the other four defendants, who are scheduled to return to court on Nov. 6 to have their preliminary hearing date set.

Yusuf Bey IV, Joshua Bey and Halfin have all pleaded not guilty. Yusuf Bey V is scheduled to enter a plea on Nov. 6.

San Francisco prosecutors alleged that Lewis was the driver and Chad Dias, 22, of Richmond was the shooter in the March 1, 2005, slaying of Christine Chan, 22, of Daly City. Chan's boyfriend, George Tang, then 22, of San Francisco, was also wounded in the shooting.

Police said Chan was an innocent bystander and Dias shot Tang while Tang was selling him marijuana.

Lewis confessed to participating in the crime, but a judge ruled that his confession was inadmissible at his trial so jurors never knew about it.

In a separate trial that ended in September, jurors deadlocked 7-5 in favor of acquitting Dias of murder charges, so a mistrial was declared.

San Francisco prosecutors are in the process of deciding whether to prosecute Dias a second time.


Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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