LOS ANGELES – Lawyers for Robert Blake, the actor who was found liable in a civil case for $30 million in his wife's death, asked for a new trial Monday, alleging juror misconduct.
One juror did not disclose that her daughter was in prison for murder, and others violated instructions from the judge, Blake's lawyers alleged in their motion.
Jurors discussed the case before deliberations began and paid attention to facets of the actor's criminal trial that were not part of the civil case, the motion said.
Jurors also discussed sending a message to celebrities by imposing a huge award for damages, the motion said.
Blake, the star of the old "Baretta" TV series, was found liable in November for the death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, 44. She was found shot to death in his car in May 2001. He told police he had left her alone briefly while he retrieved a gun he carried for protection and had accidentally left in a restaurant where the two had just dined.
Blake was acquitted of murder, but his wife's children filed a wrongful-death lawsuit.
A hearing on Monday's defense motion has been tentatively set for April 7. The plaintiffs' response is due next week.
Blake has filed for bankruptcy and said he is struggling to pay fees associated with the trial, including the $30 million judgment.