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Attorneys for Blake Appeal Denial of Bail

October 22, 2002|Andrew Blankstein | Times Staff Writer

Citing a judicial Catch-22, attorneys for Robert Blake appealed to the California Supreme Court on Monday to overturn a judge's decision to deny bail for the 69-year-old actor.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lloyd M. Nash ruled last week that prosecutors had presented enough evidence supporting the charge that Blake killed his wife last year in an ambush near a Studio City restaurant to justify holding the actor, pending trial.

But Venice civil rights lawyer Paul L. Hoffman and Blake defense attorney Harland W. Braun argued in a 25-page petition that prosecutors had not shown clear and convincing evidence for the special circumstance of lying in wait, which turns the case against Blake into a capital murder case.

Without the capital murder charge, Blake would be eligible for release. He faces life in prison without parole if convicted.

At Braun's request, the state Supreme Court ordered the hearing last week at which Nash ruled that Blake should be held. The lawyers contend that Nash prevented witness testimony, and said he would allow only declarations at the bail hearing. But he later ruled that the declarations were inadmissible.

Nash said he would reconsider Blake's motion for bail after the preliminary hearing, now set to begin Dec. 11 in Van Nuys. Blake has been held without bail at the Men's Central Jail since his April 18 arrest in the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley, 44.

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