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Blake's rights violated during home search

Judge rules seized evidence can still be used in murder case
/ Source: The Associated Press

Robert Blake’s constitutional rights were violated when police invited a book author into the actor’s home during a search following the murder of the actor’s wife, a judge ruled Tuesday.

However, the judge said the violation of Blake’s constitutional protection against unlawful search and seizure does not warrant throwing out evidence that police found.

The ruling, at a hearing before Blake’s murder trial, came after Miles Corwin, a former reporter for the Los Angeles Times, testified that he remembers little about the night of the slaying or activities of the police at Blake’s home.

“Clearly there was a Fourth Amendment violation when the officers invited Mr. Corwin to go along,” said Superior Court Judge Darlene Schempp.

She said she would not exclude any evidence seized, as the defense requested, because “I do not find that Mr. Corwin helped recover any evidence...”

Blake, 70, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Bonny Lee Bakley, 44, whom he married after DNA testing showed he was the father of her baby. The former “Baretta” star told police he found Bakley shot in their car after he went back into a restaurant where they had just dined to retrieve a gun he carried for protection.

Blake’s trial is scheduled for Nov. 1.

Corwin was questioned primarily about material published in his book, “Homicide Special.”

He confirmed that he wrote in his book that he observed a mirror in the house on which were written the words: “I’m not going down.”

Corwin noted that there are only two pages in his 400-page book concerning the Blake case and his memory is fuzzy because the search was 3½ years ago.