General News

Blake endures criticism

By:
May 14, 2001 | 8:27am EDT

Actor Robert Blake, along with the Los Angeles Police Department, is staying quiet in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. The shooting occurred Friday outside a Hollywood-area restaurant as Blake reportedly entered the eatery to retrieve a handgun he had left there.

The L.A.P.D. refused to comment Tuesday on the investigation. Investigators were seen on Monday carefully removing an unknown object from a trashcan near the restaurant--apparently entered into evidence--according to reports by The Associated Press and Reuters.

The Los Angeles Coroner's office has told Reuters that it had been ordered by police to keep Bakley's autopsy report undisclosed. According to AP, police said Blake is not a suspect and police had not found gunpowder residue on Blake after the shooting.

Blake, 67, is staying tightlipped about the incident. Blake's lawyer, Harland Braun, told ABC Radio on Monday that even a lie detector test was out of the question due to his client's emotional duress, but did say that he had "absolutely no doubt" that Blake is innocent.

During the same interview, Braun said that, in hindsight, Blake wished he had not gone back to the restaurant to retrieve his gun but that "he just knew that she had a generalized concern and maybe he thought she was a little paranoid."

Braun also told AP that a man in his 20s began showing up at Blake's Studio City home a few weeks before Friday's murder, based on information provide by private investigator Scott Ross, who has been hired by Blake to probe Bakley's murder.

Braun did not want to comment Tuesday.

Bakley's brother expressed his doubt Monday about the Baretta star's concern for his wife following the shooting.

"When they had her on the gurney pumping her chest still working on her, he's walking off with the police," Peter Carlyon, Bakley's brother, told Extra. "I don't know about most people, but if my wife was shot and they're still working on her, I'd be there."

Carlyon was critical about Blake's explanation to police that he was in possession of the handgun due to his concern for Bakley's safety.

"I've heard all the things on the news about how he was carrying a gun because his wife feared for her life. She didn't want him carrying the gun," Carlyon said.

Blake married Bakley, 45, late last year after a DNA test determined that he was the father of her baby daughter, Rose, born in June. Blake married Bakley out of obligation, Braun has said.

Carlyon also Extra that Blake and Bakley lived in separate homes on his Studio City estate - which Braun also told AP - and that Blake's affections for her had waned in recent years.

"Basically, he didn't really want anything to do with her," Carlyon said.

Braun had told AP that the couple's "relationship was improving."

In an interview with WMC-TV in Memphis, Tenn., Carlyon said that Bakley had told him that Blake had allegedly threatened her recently. He said that Bakley had claimed that Blake had made several "verbal threats to her," and told her that she didn't have to worry if life was getting her down because he "already had a bullet with her name on it."

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