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Stuntman says Blake offered him $10K to 'pop' Bakley. The witness testifies that Blake suggested killing her in her car outside a restaurant

On the second day of Robert Blake's preliminary hearing, a second Blake acquaintance testified that the actor tried to enlist him to kill his wife, according to published wire reports. Echoing Wednesday's testimony by private eye William Welch, stuntman Gary McLarty told the Van Nuys, Calif., court that, in 1999, before Blake and Bonny Lee Bakley were married, the actor showed him a gun and offered him $10,000 to ''pop'' her.

McLarty, who had worked with Blake on ''Baretta'' and the 1980 movie ''Coast to Coast,'' testified that Blake proposed a number of ways to kill Bakley. One scenario involved the murder taking place while the couple was out to dinner. As it happened, Bakley was killed in her car after dining out with Blake in May 2001, with Blake telling the police that he had returned to the restaurant to retrieve a gun he kept for security at the time she was shot in the parked car.

Defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. tried to discredit McLarty by producing documents saying that McLarty had waited until 10 days after the killing to tell his story to the police -- not five days, as McLarty testified, the Associated Press reports. Mesereau also brought up McLarty's 1991 killing of an ex-convict who was his houseguest; McLarty acknowledged shooting the man six times and then lying to the police about it, though the killing was later ruled self-defense. McLarty also acknowledged having used cocaine in recent months but denied Mesereau's allegation that he manufactured methamphetamine on his property.

Originally posted Feb 28, 2003
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