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- Robert Blake
- April 18, 2002
The arrest of Robert Blake:
He's been a popular face in American entertainment for years. Born Michael James Gubitosi in Nutley, New Jersey, he started out as Mickey in the 'Little Rascal's" comedy series …
…then graduated to grown-up film roles like 1961's "Town without Pity"…
…and "In Cold Blood."
He's probably best remembered as the wisecracking undercover detective "Baretta" on network television in the mid to late 1970's.
And a lot of people thought he got away with murder, after he was tried and acquitted in 2005 for the slaying his second wife Bonny Lee Bakley.
The two married in November 2001 when DNA tests proved Blake was the father of her child. It was his second marriage and her tenth. (Yes – tenth!)
They'd gone to an Italian restaurant on the night May 4, 2001…
…and she was shot in the head and killed in their car, which was parked around the corner.
Blake claimed that he returned to the restaurant to retrieve a gun he'd left there and wasn't there when his wife was shot. It was also found that the gun he recovered didn't fire the shots that killed Bakley.
Nevertheless in April 2002, Blake was arrested and charged with the murder. Trial was delayed until December, 2004 and the following March, Blake was acquitted.
Jurors said the prosecution failed to prove its case.
However, on November 18, 2005 Blake was found liable of the California civil court for wrongful death, in a suit filed by Bakley's children. He was ordered to pay $30-million dollars in damages, which was later cut in half. Nevertheless, Blake filed for bankruptcy with reported debts totaling $3-million dollars for unpaid legal fees and state and federal taxes after both trials.
Bakley's murder remains officially unsolved.