Lawyer: Actor’s slain wife had promised not to commit crimes
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Actor Robert Blake’s wife of seven months – shot to death in her car over the weekend – was obsessed with celebrities, had a criminal record and signed a prenuptial agreement promising to stay out of trouble.
Bonny Lee Bakley, 45, was shot Friday while sitting outside a restaurant in Studio City, where she and Blake had eaten dinner. Blake, 67, said she was shot while he returned to the restaurant to retrieve a handgun. Police said he was not a suspect.
He was treated for high blood pressure after the shooting and was released from a hospital Sunday.
Results of an autopsy were sealed at the request of homicide detectives, coroner’s spokesman Scott Carrier said Monday.
Blake’s lawyer, Harland Braun, said the couple had signed a prenuptial agreement stating that Bakley couldn’t engage in any criminal activity.
”Apparently she’s had some criminal history,” Braun said. ”So it could be any number of people that had it in for her.”
The couple married after DNA tests confirmed that Bakley’s 11-month-old daughter, Rose Lenore Sophia, was fathered by Blake. The girl has been placed in the care of Blake’s relatives.
The baby was originally named Christian Shannon Brando because Bakley believed the father was Christian Brando, son of actor Marlon Brando. Christian Brando pleaded guilty in 1990 to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of his sister’s boyfriend.
Bakley also had a 7-year-old daughter named Jeri Lee Lewis. She said rock ‘n’ roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis was the father.
Jerome Kearny, a defense attorney in Little Rock, Ark., said he represented Bakley after she was arrested in 1996 for possession of false identification and stolen credit cards. The probation office conducted an investigation and confirmed Bakley and the rock ‘n’ roll singer had a child together, Kearny said.
Bakley pleaded guilty in the case to misuse of a Social Security number, Kearny said.
Linda Gail Lewis, Jerry Lee Lewis’ sister, became friends with Bakley and remembered her as outgoing and friendly.
”We definitely know she liked being around famous men,” Linda Gail Lewis said.
Although Bakley lived in a unit behind Blake’s home, the marriage was improving, Braun said. Blake was carrying a gun because his wife feared for her life, he said.
”Murder is usually a highly motivated thing but here we have a woman we don’t know a lot about,” Braun said. ”Someone took that opportunity to kill her when Robert left the car. She was very vulnerable.”
Police recovered two 9 mm handguns and seized phone records and other paperwork from Blake’s house during a Saturday search, Braun said. Police have interviewed Blake twice since the shooting, Braun added.
Braun said his investigators have started combing through documents in Bakley’s unit and found letters from a lonely hearts service she was running.
Blake, whose given name is Mickey Gubitosi, began his acting career at age 5, appearing in MGM’s ”Our Gang” series. He is best known for his Emmy-winning role as detective Tony Baretta in television’s 1970s ”Baretta.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.