(CNN) -- The Alameda County District Attorney said a guilty verdict "is very satisfying to us," after an Oakland, California, jury convicted Yusuf Bey IV in the death of prominent African-American journalist Chauncey Bailey.
Bey, the owner of Your Black Muslim Bakery, was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, covering the deaths of Bailey and two other people killed in the weeks before Bailey's death.
"Through Bey's own actions and by his direction, he has brought extreme violence to Oakland and has victimized many people and our community at large," District Attorney Nancy O'Malley told reporters at a news conference after the verdict was read. "And in his arrogance, Bey believed he was above the law ... until now."
The prosecution's key witness was a 23-year-old former bakery handyman, Devaughndre Broussard. He testified that Bey ordered him and a man named Antoine Mackey to kill Bailey.
Mackey, also on trial, was convicted of two counts of murder, including Bailey's, but a mistrial was declared in a third case after jurors deadlocked on his charges.
The jury also declared that the multiple murder convictions warranted a finding of special circumstances against both Mackey and Bey. That means, according to the law, they must be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Broussard testified that Bey ordered the death of Bailey, 57, to block the publication of an investigative article about the financial situation of the now-defunct business, Your Black Muslim Bakery.
"What may have once been a productive organization in Oakland, became nothing more than a criminal street gang engaging in senseless violence and unyielding terror," O'Malley said.
Prosecutor Melissa Krum told jurors that Bey also was upset that Bailey had written about child molestation charges against his father, according to CNN affiliate KTVU.
Broussard testified that he and Mackey gunned down Bailey on August 2, 2007, while Bailey was on his way to work in downtown Oakland. He was arrested one day after the slaying and was charged with two counts of murder. But Broussard was allowed by prosecutors to plead guilty to two lesser counts of voluntary manslaughter in return for his testimony.
Defense attorneys argued that the deal Broussard made with prosecutors cast doubt on his credibility, according to media reports.
O'Malley acknowledged the problems with Broussard's testimony.
"It's sometimes unfortunate that you have to engage or play with the devil to get the dirt," she said. "It's difficult to stand in front of a jury and put a convicted murderer in front of them. On the other hand, the quality of the testimony and the nature of the testimony and the level of detail that someone like Broussard ... gave in this trial, was able to provide the jury with the basis they needed to find Bey guilty of the crimes."
O'Malley said Broussard will be eligible to request a parole hearing in about 22 years.
Bey's lawyer told KTVU that an appeal will be filed.
CNN's Kim Hutcherson and Amanda Watts contributed to this report.