VAN NUYS, Calif. Robert Blake walked out of court a free man Wednesday after a jury acquitted him of the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley, his wife of six months and the mother of his 4-year-old daughter.
The panel also found him not guilty of solicitation of murder, but were unable to reach a verdict on a second solicitation count, which was subsequently dropped.
The 71-year-old actor would have faced life in prison for a first-degree murder conviction.
Blake, the former star of the '70s show "Baretta," closed his eyes and then hugged his defense lawyer, Gerald Schwartzbach. He sat trembling at the defense table before his security ankle bracelet was removed and he left the courtroom.
Bakley, a 44-year-old mother of four, was a successful mail-order pornographer who had conned several men. Blake's defense argued that any of her victims could have pulled the trigger.