In the hours after his wife was murdered, Robert Blake told his lawyers he wanted to prepare a will because he was worried about their baby, and about in-laws he described as “piranhas” and “crazy people,” a detective testified Monday.
The former “Baretta” star made the comments while talking to his lawyer during a police interview after the May 4, 2001, killing of Bonny Lee Bakley, Detective Martin Pinner said at Blake’s murder trial.
Blake wasn’t under arrest, was not handcuffed and was not told that he had to give an interview to detectives, but he did anyway, Pinner said. During that time, Blake turned to the attorney who was with him and suggested he should make out a will.
“He was worried that something was going to happen to him,” Pinner said. “He wanted to protect Rosie from the family and other people.”
“What reference did he make to Bonny Lee Bakley’s family?” asked Deputy District Attorney Shellie Samuels.
“Piranhas,” the detective said.
Pinner agreed when Samuels asked if Blake also had called her family “crazy people and felons.”
Blake, 71, is charged with murder, soliciting others to commit a murder and lying in wait in the shooting death of the woman he married after learning he had fathered Rosie.
The couple had dined at a restaurant and then left. According to Blake, they went to his car, where he left his wife to briefly go back to the establishment to retrieve a gun he carried for protection but had left behind. He said he found Bakley bleeding from gunshot wounds when he returned minutes later.
The prosecution is trying to prove he killed her and fabricated the story about returning to the restaurant as an alibi.
Earlier, Blake’s lawyer sharply attacked the testimony of another detective, Steven Eguchi, who said that he climbed atop a trash bin trying to find evidence at the crime scene, then ordered the bin taken to a landfill where it was emptied and eventually yielded the murder weapon, a World War II-era revolver.
Blake’s attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach suggested that Eguchi should have waited for forensic experts to come to the scene. He questioned whether Eguchi’s actions made it virtually impossible to obtain evidence such as fingerprints.
The gun was covered with dirt and oil and yielded no fingerprints.