Robert Blake: Mystery Deepens

03/30/1998 at 12:00 AM EST

Los Angeles Police on Monday carted away a mystery object found in a trash canister near the murder scene where actor Robert Blake's wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, 45, was found shot in the head late Friday. Reuters reports that an attorney for the ex-"Baretta" star, 67, insisted that his client is innocent but in no emotional shape to submit to a lie detector test. An L.A. police spokesman declined to identify the object, while the city's Coroner's office told the news service that it had been temporarily ordered by police not to reveal how Bakley died. The killing occurred while Bakley was in the car and Blake was inside an Italian restaurant where they had just eaten. Blake told police that he had left his wife alone so he could retrieve a gun he had left inside the eatery. Meanwhile, a relative of Bakley's in Memphis, Tenn., told L.A.'s KNBC-TV that the murder victim and Blake had a rocky relationship and that the actor had taken to carrying a gun, boasting that he had a bullet with her name on it. Blake's lawyer, Harland Braun, said that his client had the weapon because Bakley was afraid someone was after her. He admitted the couple had troubles but said that their relationship was on the mend. Police have said that Blake is not a suspect in the case.

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