No New Civil Trial for Blake

A judge Monday turned down actor Robert Blake's request for a new trial in the wrongful-death lawsuit over the slaying of his wife, rejecting arguments that members of the jury engaged in misconduct in reaching the $30 million verdict.

Superior Court Judge David M. Schacter did not explain his ruling.

Blake was acquitted last year in criminal court of murdering Bonny Lee Bakley, who was gunned down in 2001 in Blake's car outside a restaurant where the couple had just dined.

Last November, a civil court jury ruled 10-2 that Blake intentionally caused her death, and it awarded her children $30 million in damages. Civil trials do not require an unanimous verdict.

Blake's lawyers contended there were numerous acts of juror misconduct, including one woman's failure to disclose that her daughter was in prison on a murder conviction and another juror's use of the Bible during deliberations.

Three jurors submitted affidavits, including one who said he was pressured to vote against Blake.

Blake attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach said he would appeal.

"I'm frankly shocked by the ruling given the record before the court of egregious misconduct," he said.

The Bakley family's attorney, Eric Dubin, said he had statements from five of the 12 jurors denying the misconduct allegations.

"The children of Bonny Lee Bakley found justice for their mother's killing, and no reason ever existed to disturb this jury's verdict," he said.