LOS ANGELES – The defense in the Robert Blake (search) murder trial attacked the credibility of the state's key witness with testimony from two former drug users who said the witness used methamphetamine and behaved oddly.
Keith Seals and Donna Sharon both testified Wednesday that they saw Ronald "Duffy" Hambleton using drugs as late as 2002, one of many contradictions of Hambleton's testimony.
Hambleton, a retired stuntman, testified that Blake repeatedly solicited the murder of wife Bonny Lee Bakley (search). He also said he stopped using methamphetamine in 1999, before his meetings with Blake in early 2001. Bakley was shot to death on May 4, 2001.
Sharon said she saw Hambleton snort, smoke and eat methamphetamine, and that his behavior became odd.
"He thought people were in the desert dressed as sagebrush sneaking up around the house," she said. "Sometimes he'd stand at the front window with binoculars and stare for hours. ... Sometimes he saw them in black. Sometimes he said they were dressed up as bushes."
Under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Shellie Samuels, Seals and Sharon said that although they used methamphetamine for many years, they never had delusions or hallucinations but did become paranoid and did not sleep when they were using the drug.
The defense attack on Hambleton's credibility came a day after another major prosecution witness, ex-stuntman Gary McLarty, was described by his son and wife as delusional, paranoid and constantly using cocaine.
Bakley, 44, who had recently had Blake's baby, was fatally shot as she sat in a car near a restaurant where the couple had dined.
Blake, who starred in the 1970s television show "Baretta," (search) contends he found Bakley mortally wounded in the car.