LOS ANGELES – The defense attorney in actor Robert Blake's (search) murder trial said Friday he will try again to persuade a judge to allow evidence linking someone else to the 2001 killing of Blake's wife.
M. Gerald Schwartzbach (search) said at a court hearing that he has more evidence to support the previous claim that a drifter with ties to Christian Brando, the son of Marlon Brando (search), killed Blake's wife.
The defense attorney later told reporters that police also have the evidence, which allegedly shows the drifter received $10,000 around the time Bonny Lee Bakley was slain. He said detectives chose not to pursue it.
"In my judgment, the Los Angeles Police Department convicted Robert Blake on the evening of the murder," Schwartzbach said. Bakley, 44, was shot to death outside an Italian restaurant where she had just eaten dinner with her husband.
Superior Court Judge Darlene Schempp agreed to consider the evidence at an Oct. 14 hearing. Jury selection is scheduled to begin in November.
The judge rejected a previous attempt to introduce the evidence.
The younger Brando had a romantic involvement with Bakley, who initially said her baby girl was his child. DNA tests later proved the girl was fathered by Blake, and the two married months before her May 4, 2001, death.
Blake, who turns 71 on Saturday, is charged with killing Bakley. He said he left her alone in his car briefly to return to the restaurant to retrieve a gun he carried for protection. When he returned, he said, he found her mortally wounded.
Blake, star of the former "Baretta" television series, is free on $1.5 million bail but remains under house arrest.