Blake 'Didn't Get Fair Trial'

Acquitted actor ROBERT BLAKE is refusing to pay his murdered wife's family a $30 million (GBP15 million) civil court award because he did not get a fair trial, according to his lawyers. The 74-year-old wasn't convicted for the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley by a criminal court jury in 2005, but was ordered to pay damages after he was found liable by a civil court. But his attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach told California's 2nd District Court of Appeal on Tuesday (16Jan08) that the civil court jurors were incompetent, guilty of misconduct and issued an award "so grossly excessive that it shocks the conscience". However, Bakley family lawyer Eric Dubin said the verdict should stand despite admitting the jury might have committed some minor errors during their deliberations. He says, "Either you're going to trust the system or you're not. These jurors were good people. They worked hard." Bakley was shot dead while sitting in Blake's car in May 2001, just six months after the pair married. Her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit following Blake's acquittal.


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