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Testimony: no blood found on Blake's clothes

Rod Englert, a crime scene reconstructionist, testified he was asked to analyze Blake’s clothes and those of Bonny Lee Bakley to determine the blood patterns that were left by two gunshot wounds to her head and shoulder.
/ Source: The Associated Press

An expert witness said Friday he could not find any blood on the clothing that actor Robert Blake wore the night his wife was shot to death.

Rod Englert, a crime scene reconstructionist, testified he was asked to analyze Blake’s clothes and those of Bonny Lee Bakley to determine the blood patterns left by two gunshot wounds to her head and shoulder.

He said he did numerous tests on the actor’s clothes, including spraying them with a chemical called Luminol, and found not a speck of blood on his T-shirt, jeans, boots, socks or belt.

In the case of Bakley, Englert said he found blood consistent with the gunshot wounds and said he believed one of her arms was raised when she was shot. He also said the interior of the car in which she was sitting had numerous blood stains.

In order for blood to be transferred to the clothing of a killer, “the shooter would have had to be right on top of her,” Englert said.

A medical examiner has testified the shooter was perhaps one to two feet away from Bakley when the gun was fired.

Englert’s written report, read in court by defense attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach, noted: “The lack of blood on Robert Blake’s clothing does not eliminate him as being the shooter of Bonny Bakley.”

“So, your report does not tell us one way or the other who shot Bonny Bakley?” asked Schwartzbach.

“That is correct,” he replied.

Jurors listened attentively to the first testimony since they toured the crime scene late Thursday. They had a chance to examine a duplicate of the car where Bakley was shot on May 4, 2001.

Englert and another forensics expert were to return to the witness stand when court resumes after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

In a little less than three weeks of testimony, Deputy District Attorney Shellie Samuels has called 35 witnesses, the majority of them discussing Blake’s demeanor and actions the night of Bakley’s killing.

Still to come are witnesses who claim Blake solicited them to kill his wife. Samuels is expected to conclude her case by month’s end.

Blake, 71, is on trial on charges of murder, soliciting others to commit a murder and lying in wait.