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Blake Arrested in Wife’s Killing

April 19, 2002 GMT

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Actor Robert Blake was being arrested Thursday in the killing of his wife nearly a year ago, his attorney said.

``They’re arresting him in a couple of minutes,″ said attorney Harland Braun shortly before 6 p.m. ``I’ve told him to come outside.″

Braun said Blake will be taken from his sister’s home in Hidden Hills to Parker Center police headquarters downtown. Braun said he was en route to Parker Center.

Bonny Lee Bakley, 44, was shot to death the night of May 4, 2001, a block from a Studio City restaurant where she and Blake had dined.

Blake’s story was that they had dinner at his favorite restaurant, Vitello’s, and, after walking his wife to the car he remembered that he had left behind a gun he carried to protect her. He went back for it, he said, and when he returned to the car he found his wife shot.

The case thrust Blake back into the limelight after years of semiretirement. A former child star, he had his greatest success in the 1970s TV series, ``Baretta,″ in which he played a tough-talking cop.

He received accolades for his performance as a killer who goes to the gallows in 1967′s ``In Cold Blood,″ and he won a 1975 Emmy for ``Baretta,″ but his career had been stalled for years.