BURBANK, Calif. – At the time Robert Blake's wife was killed, the couple was planning a life together with their baby Rosie, the actor testified Wednesday.
"There was a clear understanding that Rosie belonged to me and Bonny," Blake said during his third day of testimony in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against him by the children of his slain wife, Bonny Lee Bakley (search).
"She was ours and we were going to raise her," he said.
Bakley, 44, was shot to death in May 2001 as she sat in the actor's car outside a restaurant where they had dinner.
The star of the old "Baretta (search)" TV show was acquitted of murder earlier this year after a criminal trial. He did not testify during that case.
Blake said Rosie, now 5, was cared for temporarily by his daughter, Delinah, while he and Bakley went on a honeymoon to Arizona a month before the slaying. The couple were married in November 2000.
Under questioning by lawyer Eric Dubin (search), who represents Bakley's family, Blake said no date had been set for the child's return to his home.
"It was very immediate, but it wasn't Tuesday at 4 o'clock," he said. "We were through with our honeymoon and Rosie was coming home."
He said those plans were shattered by his wife's death.
Dubin questioned Blake at length about the night Bakley died, pressing him about why he took a loaded gun with him to the restaurant where the couple had dinner.
Blake said he had "security concerns" because people had been hanging around his house, and he thought it had something to do with his marriage to Bakley being reported in tabloid newspapers.
"Were you afraid you would be attacked while eating your ravioli?" Dubin asked.
"No," said Blake, who acknowledged loading the gun before he left home and then leaving it in the restaurant. Blake has said he accompanied Bakley to his car, went back to retrieve the gun, then returned to find her shot.
During his testimony, Blake denied soliciting a stuntman to kill Bakley and said he didn't take his handyman to Arizona to kill her, as prosecutors in the criminal trial asserted.
Blake did acknowledge showing stuntman Ronald "Duffy" Hambleton an envelope containing items belonging to Bakley that included nude photos of her that she was using as part of a business in which she enticed men to send her money.
Asked why he showed the material to Hambleton, Blake said, "I wanted to convince him (the security) problem was real. And these were the probable reasons."
At his criminal trial, witnesses said Blake complained that his home was being watched by people in trucks who would drive off when he went outside to confront them.
"There were some strange things happening outside my house. It scared me," he said.