Robert Blake‘s lawyer suggested yesterday a leading witness in the
actor’s murder trial, was using illegal drugs during his police interview.
The Baretta star’s attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach claimed officers ignored
the possibility that former stuntman, Gary McLarty, was under the influence of
narcotics when providing incriminating statements against Blake.
Blake, 71, was arrested in April 2002 for the May 2001 slaying of his second
wife Bonny Lee Bakley.
At the Van Nuys, California courthouse on Thursday, Schwartzbach repeatedly
questioned detective Ronald Ito about McLarty and another ex-stuntman Ronald
‘Duffy’ Hambleton’s alleged drug use.
In a preliminary hearing, McLarty alleged Blake had offered him $10,000
to kill his wife and mother of his baby Rosie. Prosecutors claim both
McLarty and Hambleton refused to shoot Bakley, leaving Blake to murder her
Blake claims he returned to a Studio City restaurant after dining to retrieve
his gun, leaving Bakley sitting in the car outside. He alleges he found Bakley
had been shot upon his return to the vehicle.
Schwartzbach noted McLarty admitted during his police interview he had
recently suffered a heart attack, yet Ito failed to question what medications
McLarty was taking.
Ito said he received phonecalls during the investigation alleging McLarty was
a drug dealer, and there were references to him using cocaine.
Schwartzbach asked, “Did you ask Mr McLarty if he was using cocaine in 2001?”
Ito replied, “I don’t believe I did.”
The trial continues.
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