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Robert Blake found not guilty


I give up. This board is too hard to understand.
I guess Jay Leno will have to only make Michael Jackson jokes from now on.

Blake found not guilty in wife's killing
'I never lost hope,' actor says after verdict


Wednesday, March 16, 2005 Posted: 7:40 PM EST (0040 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Four years of a real-life crime story ended Wednesday for actor Robert Blake, the star of "In Cold Blood" and "Baretta," when a California jury acquitted him of murder in the 2001 slaying of his wife.

Blake, 71, met the verdicts with sobs and embraced his lawyer after the announcement, which followed more than a week of deliberations.

"I never lost hope," Blake told reporters after the verdict.

"If you live to be a million, you will never ever in your life meet anyone more blessed than me," he said.

Blake was charged with one count of murder with a special circumstance of lying in wait and two counts of solicitation of murder in the shooting death of Bonny Lee Bakley, 44. He would have faced a sentence of life in prison if convicted.

Jurors acquitted him of the murder count as well as one count of solicitation of murder. They deadlocked on a second solicitation count, with the vote 11-1 in favor of a not-guilty verdict.

Superior Court Judge Darlene Schempp dismissed the remaining count, saying a retrial on that count "would not result in anything different."

In the moments before the verdict, Blake sat at the defense table, almost with a scowl on his face. When the not guilty verdict was read, he smiled, leaned over and hugged his attorney. He then placed his head on the table and sobbed. At one point, he nearly collapsed; hands shaking, he fumbled with a bottle of water his lawyer gave him.

Blake emerged from the courthouse more than an hour after the verdict, smiling and smoking a cigarette. He praised "this small band of dedicated lawyers" who "saved my life," but complained that the proceedings had left him "broke."

"If you want to know how to go through $10 million in five years, ask me," he said.

In lengthy and sometimes profane comments, he said relatives and associates were "hoping to make a buck off my hopefully dead ass."

"Well, guess what: They're all liars, and some of them are commode scum," he said.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said he was "pretty surprised" by the verdict.

"It sure seemed like he was the only person with the opportunity, the motive and the means to kill [Bakley]," Toobin said.

"But there was no eyewitness. There was no murder weapon established," he said. "The jury didn't buy it, and the jury didn't buy the whole prosecution's case."

Later, juror Lorie Moore said the prosecution did not prove its case.

"We just didn't have enough evidence to say whether he did or if he didn't" commit the crimes, she said.

Blake attorney Gerald Schwartzbach said his client handled the trial with "tremendous grace."

"He handled the deliberations with more composure than I was able to muster," Schwartzbach said.

Jury foreman Thomas Nicholson said prosecutors "couldn't put the gun in his hand" with evidence of gunshot residue or blood on Blake's clothing. Jurors considered the circumstantial evidence against Blake "flimsy" and discounted the testimony of two key prosecution witnesses, he said.

"They could never connect all the links in the chain," Nicholson said.

Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney, said prosecutors and police believed they had a "solid circumstantial case" against Blake.

"We believe the evidence was compelling," she said. "We presented the evidence to the jury fully, honestly and professionally. Unfortunately, these jurors disagreed with our view of the evidence."
'Story out of a bad novel'

Bakley was shot to death May 4, 2001, outside Blake's favorite Italian restaurant in Studio City, after the two had dinner.

Blake had said he left Bakley in the car while he returned to the restaurant to retrieve a handgun he had left behind. He told detectives he was armed because his wife feared someone was stalking her.

"This really was a story out of a bad novel," Toobin said.

Blake got his start in the "Our Gang" comedies of the 1930s and '40s, made his mark as an adult in films like "In Cold Blood" and "Tell Them Willie Boy is Here," and starred in the 1970s detective show "Baretta."

He married Bakley in November 2000, after DNA tests indicated he was the father of the daughter Bakley gave birth to that June. They lived separately, and Bakley stayed in a bungalow behind Blake's four-bedroom house in Studio City.

Bakley initially claimed the child was fathered by either Blake or Christian Brando, son of actor Marlon Brando.

Schwartzbach was Blake's fourth lawyer. Two others -- Harland Braun and Jennifer Keller -- quit over Blake's insistence on doing television interviews while awaiting trial.

A third, Thomas Mesereau Jr., was dismissed after citing "irreconcilable differences" with his client. Mesereau now represents embattled pop star Michael Jackson.

"This case just dragged on and on," Toobin said. "The key moment in the case was when Robert Blake was released on bail" -- in March 2003.

"Mesereau got him out on bail," Toobin said. "Now it looks like he's never going back in."


Woody Rules!
Now I wish I had followed this one more closely, but i thought he was going to be convicted.
His alibi story was about the weakest I had ever heard - so I guess i just figured they would be able to connect the dots on this one.
Didn't they have any ballistics evidence to indicate his gun was the murder weapon?
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I give up. This board is too hard to understand.
Thump said:
That's why he's lucky. He hated her.

I heard a guy on CNN this morning call it something to the affect of, "A socially cleansing homicide."


She wasn't the nicest person in the world apparently. She would send pictures of her self to old men in hopes that she could hook up with them and they'd give her money just like Anna Nicole Smith did to that geezer she married.
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Hating the environment since 1994
  • LoKyBuckeye said:
    She wasn't the nicest person in the world apparently. She would send pictures of her self to old men in hopes that she could hook up with them and they'd give her money just like Anna Nicole Smith did to that geezer she married.
    I know.

    Sounds to me like she had it coming.

    Congrats to Barreta for getting away with it.
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    Herbie for President
    He doesn't sound to pissed that all his money is gone defending something he "didn't do"... this stuff cracks me up. I'd be livid if I spent $10 Million on a denfense team to defend me against something I didn't do... on the other hand, I'd be very happy if they got me out of life in prision for something I did do... :roll1:
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