Stunt men to testify against Blake

2002-04-25 08:17
Los Angeles - Actor Robert Blake, who is facing charges of murdering his wife, will face evidence from two film stunt men who claimed he tried to hire them to carry out the killing, his lawyer Harland Braum said on Wednesday.

The lawyer said the stunt men who worked with Blake on the 1970s television police drama Barretta were expected to testify against his client.

Braum released the information prior to an expose in a supermarket tabloid in which one of the witnesses details the alleged solicitation by Blake.

The actor (68) was arraigned on Monday on charges of murdering his wife Bonnie Lee Backley last year after they dined together at their favourite Italian restaurant. Blake pleaded innocent. If found guilty, he could face a death sentence.

In court papers, prosecutors said Blake had tried to hire two hit men to kill his wife before killing her himself.

Harland named the two as stunt men Gary McLarty and Ronald "Duffy" Hambleton. He said they will probably be key witnesses in Blake's murder trial but said they were unreliable.

"The problem with these witnesses is, if this is true, why didn't they call the police?" Braun asked. "Often these kinds of witnesses have some problem in their history or they want to jump on a big case to be in the spotlight." - Sapa-DPA

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