Judge gives Blake time to find lawyer

Feb. 23, 2004 at 8:32 PM

VAN NUYS, Calif., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A California judge has given Robert Blake another week to find a new attorney and set Sept. 9 for the start for his trial on a charge of slaying his wife.

Blake is accused of slaying Bonny Lee Bakley on May 4, 2001.

The judge Monday instructed the former "Baretta" star to return to the Van Nuys courthouse next Monday with a new lawyer, KABC in Los Angeles reported. Blake previously was instructed to find a new lawyer by Feb. 23

Prosecutors appeared surprised by the development, which was described as "mind-boggling" by Sandi Gibbons of the District Attorney's Office.

Blake faces life in prison without parole if convicted of one count of murder and two counts of solicitation of murder, along with special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and personal use of a firearm.

Pending trial, he is free on $1 million bond.

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