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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Blake faces life in prison if convicted for wife’s murder

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A gaunt, gray Robert Blake shuffled into court for a preliminary hearing in his murder case Wednesday and sat grimly as prosecutors played a taped phone call in which the actor berated his wife for getting pregnant.
“You lied to me. You double-crossed me. You double-dealt me, and that’s who you are,” the former “Baretta” star told Bonny Lee Bakley — the woman he is accused of murdering.
Judge Lloyd Nash allowed prosecutors to use the tape in the preliminary hearing to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to order Blake and a bodyguard to stand trial. He said the tape might not be admissible at a trial, however.
Bakley, 44, was shot as she sat in the couple’s car near a restaurant where they had dined on May 4, 2001. Blake, 69, has claimed he went back into the restaurant to retrieve a gun he carried for protection and found Bakley shot when he returned to the car.
Blake faces life in prison without parole if convicted.
On the tape, Bakley sniffled and cried as she insisted her only concern was to stay with Blake.
“All I ever wanted was to be with you,” she said.
Blake urged her to get an abortion, suggesting “a pill from France.”
In other testimony, police Sgt. Charles Knolls testified that a diner who saw Blake and Bakley the night of the slaying reported that the actor looked nervous, appeared to be hyperventilating and asked someone for water.
At the hearing, Blake’s lawyer challenged a coroner’s work on the autopsy. Deputy Medical Examiner Jeffrey Gutstadt testified that a bullet that went through Bakley’s cheek was fired in a slightly upward direction.
In a long cross-examination, lawyer Thomas Mesereau Jr. suggested the autopsy never exactly established Bakley’s position when she was shot, the height of her assailant, or which of the two shots that killed her came first.
The coroner testified that Bakley was killed by one bullet that went through her right cheek and into her brain and another bullet that entered through her right shoulder. He noted that there were no defensive wounds on Bakley’s arms.
The prosecution’s key witnesses are expected to be two former Hollywood stuntmen who say Blake tried to pay them to kill Bakley. When that failed, prosecutors say, the actor shot her himself.
Earle Caldwell, a former bodyguard, driver and handyman for Blake, is charged with conspiring with the actor.

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