Published January 13, 2015
Actor Robert Blake added a second top criminal defense lawyer to his legal team Tuesday, although he hasn't been charged in the unsolved murder of his wife.
Barry Levin, a former Los Angeles police sergeant, joins attorney Harland Braun who began working for Blake within hours after Bonny Lee Bakley was shot to death May 4.
Levin toured the scene of the crime Tuesday, surveying the area near a Studio City restaurant where Blake and Bakley dined just before the shooting.
He also visited a construction site where a gun reportedly was found in a trash bin Monday. Police have refused to comment on the gun report, but a trash collector said he saw detectives remove a gun from the bin.
On Wednesday John Solari, a friend of Blake's for 10 years, told Fox News that he spoke with Blake before the murder and said he would "love" to kill Bakley if he could. However, he denied having anything to do with the murder. "I didn't offer to kill her," said Solari. "I said if it was possible, I’d have loved to have done it."
Solari said he has not been contacted by the police and does not believe that Blake was involved with his wife's murder. "I love Robert. This whole thing is gonna clear up," he said. And added later, "Everybody says when someone dies you have to speak good of them. Why? This woman wasn't a nice person."
Asked why Blake, who has not been charged with anything, would want to hire two powerful attorneys, Levin said, "He's very smart."
"When you're the focus of an investigation, your instincts are all wrong and you need someone to advise you," he said. "It's an educational process."
Levin said he met with Blake on Monday night and "I know in my heart that Robert Blake is innocent."
He said his job will be to gather as much information as possible and make sure that police do a thorough investigation.
"The longer this goes on, the further away from him they should be investigating," Levin said, suggesting that clues to the identity of the killer may lie in Bakley's past.
The 45-year-old woman had a criminal record for possession of false identification and she was known to have run a mail order business, soliciting lonely men to send her money.
On Monday, Blake's lawyer, Harland Braun, released 90 minutes of audio tape recordings found among Bakley's possessions. She had taped her phone conversations with a friend discussing whether it would be more financially lucrative to claim that her baby was fathered by Blake or by Christian Brando, son of actor Marlon Brando.
Braun said he chose Levin to join his legal team because he represents police officers and is himself a former police officer.
"If you're not guilty, you want to be exonerated and the only way you can be exonerated is to make sure the police investigation is done properly," Braun said.
Blake, 67, married Bakley four months ago after DNA tests determined he was the father of a now 11-month-old girl. He has been in seclusion since the killing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.