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California Appeals Court Rejects Actor Robert Blake's Bid for Bail

A state appeals court turned down actor Robert Blake's bid for release on bail without comment on Tuesday, his attorney said, vowing to take his client's case to the California Supreme Court.

Attorney Harland Braun said a notice that the appeal had been rejected was filed via the court's e-mail.

"We have no choice now but to go the Supreme Court," Braun said.

The ruling was expected, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. She noted that Superior Court Judge Lloyd Nash has twice turned down the bail request.

"We felt that Judge Nash, when he twice rejected the request for bail, was on solid ground," Gibbons said.

Blake has been jailed since his April 18 arrest on charges of murdering Bonny Lee Bakley, the 44-year-old mother of his toddler daughter. Bakley was shot to death May 4, 2001, outside a restaurant the couple had just visited.

Earlier this month, Nash refused to consider the bail issue, or another legal argument on a charge of lying in wait, until he hears prosecution evidence against Blake at a preliminary hearing.

Blake and his lawyers have an Aug. 27 court hearing. Nash said he hoped to hold the preliminary hearing within 10 days after that.

Blake's appellate lawyer, Paul Hoffman, filed documents with the California 2nd District Court of Appeal arguing that the charge of lying in wait should be dismissed because it is constitutionally vague.

He also cited the fact that Blake, the 68-year-old star of the 1970's television series Baretta, never tried to leave the Los Angeles area during the year he was a suspect and should not be considered a flight risk.

Braun said Tuesday he has commissioned a poll to gauge public opinion on the issue of whether Blake should be granted bail while his case is pending. Braun did not indicate how many people were polled or the margin of error of the study.

"Our polling shows that the public is strongly behind us," he said. "On the one question of bail, 75 percent of the people who answered said they thought it was unfair that he was not being released because he is not a flight risk."

Gibbons rejected that argument.

"These things are not done by public opinion," she said. "They are done in court by the rule of law."