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Handyman pleads guilty to killing US editor

A former handyman pleaded guilty on Thursday to killing two men, including a newspaper editor who was investigating the finances of a community group for which the defendant worked.

world Updated: May 08, 2009 11:18 IST

A former handyman pleaded guilty on Thursday to killing two men, including a newspaper editor who was investigating the finances of a community group for which the defendant worked.

Devaughndre Broussard, 21, entered his plea to two counts of voluntary manslaughter as part of a deal with prosecutors. Under the terms of the deal, he will be sentenced to 25 years in prison in exchange for his testimony.

Broussard would have faced up to 32 years in prison if convicted at trial.

Broussard admitted to fatally shooting Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey in August 2007 and another man, Odell Roberson Jr, a month earlier. He testified that he carried out the slayings because he had been promised financial rewards.

Broussard had already provided grand jury testimony against Yusuf Bey IV, the leader of the now-defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery, and bakery associate Antoine Mackey. Bey was accused of ordering the two murders and Mackey was accused of driving the getaway van in Bailey's shooting and of being the shooter in a third slaying. Both were scheduled to enter their pleas to murder charges on May 13. Their arraignment was pushed back to give them time to hire new defense attorneys. It wasn't immediately known if they had hired lawyers yet.

Your Black Muslim Bakery was an institution in Oakland's black community since it was founded more than 40 years ago and ran a bakery and a school and provided security. Its members, including Bey, have been accused of involvement in crimes that include a vandalism rampage of liquor stores in 2005 and the kidnapping and torture of two women in 2007.

Bailey, 57, was the editor of the Oakland Post, a newspaper focusing on African-American issues. He was investigating the bakery's finances and internal fighting when he was gunned down on his way to work.

Broussard's mother, Aundra Dixon, said on Thursday that her son was "taking responsibility for what he had done."