The actor accused of murdering his wife does not testify in his own case

By Marla Lehner
Updated February 23, 2005 05:00 PM
Nick Ut/AP

Robert Blake will not take the stand in his own murder trial. Lawyers for the actor rested the defense Wednesday without calling him to the stand.

But jurors wear able to hear from the former Baretta star in the form of a videotape of a Barbara Walters interview that was played in court. “It’s all about Rosie. It’s always been about Rosie,” he said, referring to his now 4-year-old daughter with slain wife Bonny Lee Bakley. “The greatest gift in the world, and I’m going to try to mess it up by being selfish?”

Jurors were able to see Rosie for the first time during the videotape of the interview, which showed Blake carrying his daughter on his shoulders.

Blake has pleaded not guilty to murdering his second wife on May 4, 2001. Bakley, 44, was shot to death as she sat in a car near a Studio City, Calif., restaurant where the couple had dined. Blake claims he found Bakley mortally wounded in their car after leaving her to go back to the restaurant and retrieve a handgun he says he carried for protection.

The prosecution is expected to start presenting its rebuttal Thursday.

If convicted, Blake could face life in prison.