LOS ANGELES – Jurors in the murder case against actor Robert Blake (search) deliberated for more than five hours Monday without reaching a verdict — and without making any requests to review trial testimony or evidence.
They were to resume deliberations Tuesday.
Blake didn't appear at the courthouse. When asked if Blake was going to be present during deliberations, his attorney, M. Gerald Schwartzbach (search), replied: "Not unless he has to."
Blake, 71, is accused of killing his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley (search), after she allegedly tricked him into marrying her. Bakley, 44, was shot to death in May 2001 near Blake's favorite Italian restaurant in Studio City.
The actor is charged with murder, two counts of solicitation of murder and a special circumstance of lying in wait. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
Jurors deliberated for about 90 minutes Friday before going home for the weekend. In his closing arguments, Schwartzbach portrayed the prosecution's key witnesses as liars and accused the police of bungling a rushed investigation.
Blake maintains someone else killed Bakley when he left her briefly in his car to retrieve a gun he left behind during dinner. He told detectives he was armed because his wife feared someone was stalking her.
Blake's .38-caliber revolver was not used to kill Bakley.
Deputy District Attorney Shellie Samuels told jurors in her closing arguments that Blake killed Bakley because she had tricked him into marrying her by getting pregnant. She argued that Blake then became obsessed with protecting the baby from Bakley, who he believed was a con artist who sold promises of sex by mail.
Both sides agree that Blake married Bakley because of the baby, Rosie, and that Blake suspected his wife of using another of her children for pornography.
Schwartzbach argued Blake was willing to put up with Bakley for the sake of their daughter. Blake's defense also attacked the credibility of the prosecution's two key witnesses, both whom have admitted being heavy drug users.