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Detective says Blake wanted Bakley dead



Published: Fri, January 21, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A former police detective who worked for Robert Blake as a private investigator testified Thursday the actor proposed kidnapping Bonny Lee Bakley, forcing her to have an abortion, and if that did not work, "whack her."

William Welch's testimony was the first time the jury in the murder case heard a witness say Blake solicited the killing of Bakley, who at the time was not yet his wife. On Wednesday, the prosecution focused on motive, presenting a witness who said Blake was obsessed with their baby, Rosie, and with keeping her from Bakley.

Welch came under intense cross-examination by defense attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach, who asked why the veteran policeman would not have reported Blake's alleged proposal to commit a major crime.

"I was really convinced I had talked Robert out of it," Welch testified.

Blake, 71, star of the "Baretta" TV series, is charged with murdering Bakley, 44, on May 4, 2001. The two got married months earlier after tests showed he was the father of her baby.

Welch said he had worked for Blake since 1988, locating people, doing background checks and other work. One day in 1999, he said, Blake asked to see him and they took a walk by the river behind his house.

"He told me that he'd met a girl in a jazz club, that they had a one-night stand and she turned up pregnant," Welch said.

"He wanted to do something about it."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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