News Article

Up to Snuff

Blake stuntman admits he changed his story. One of the men the actor allegedly solicited to ''snuff'' his wife initially said he hasn't the ''slightest idea'' who killed her

The witnesses testifying over the past four days at the Robert Blake preliminary hearing can't seem to agree on what the ''Baretta'' star allegedly solicited them to do: Did he want someone to ''whack'' his wife, ''pop'' his wife, or ''snuff'' his wife? Stuntman Ronald ''Duffy'' Hambleton, who testified Monday at the Van Nuys, Calif., hearing, said ''snuff,'' but Blake's attorney got the stuntman to acknowledge on the stand that he'd told three different versions of his story.

Responding to the prosecution's questions on Monday, Hambleton said Blake had approached him two months before Bakley's May 2001 murder and asked him how much he would charge to kill her. Under cross-examination, however, Hambleton said that when he first spoke to police, in the days following the murder, he told cops he hadn't the ''slightest idea'' who killed her and said that Blake had never spoken to him ''about killing anyone.'' A later story, which leaked to the tabloids, had Hambleton saying Blake offered him $100,000 to do the hit. Hambleton insisted that he was now telling the truth in testifying for the prosecution. ''It is the right thing to do,'' he said.

Blake has denied any involvement in the killing. The hearing is expected to continue for several more days, with prosecutors offering more evidence in the hopes of taking the case to trial.

Originally posted Mar 04, 2003
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