Blake Gets Bail, But Must Stand Trial
But the news wasn't all bad for the ex-"Baretta" star: Nash also said Blake, 69, could be released on $1.5 million bail.
Blake -- who has languished in an L.A. jail cell for nearly a year since his arrest -- reportedly appeared stunned by the judge's announcement.
The decisions, which also included an order for Blake's bodyguard Earle Caldwell to stand trial on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, followed a nearly two-week preliminary hearing that included veteran stuntmen testifying that Blake approached them seeking to have his wife rubbed out.
Judge Nash ruled that the actor "had the time, the opportunity and the motive to commit the shooting." Nash additionally cited the "extreme hostility" Blake had toward his wife, who was 44 at the time she was shot dead in the family car as it was parked outside the restaurant where the couple had just dined.
Prosecutor Pat Dixon argued on Thursday that "the defendant's own words met our burden of proof in this case: He has repeatedly told people exactly what he was going to do and he carried it out and he did it and he had lots of motive for it."
Blake's attorney, Thomas Mesereau Jr., told AP Thursday: "All of this boils down to one fundamental problem with the prosecution's case: There is no evidence about what happened when Bonny Lee Bakley was shot."