CNN BREAKING NEWS
Judge Puts Blake Civil Case on Hold
Aired February 28, 2003 - 14:31 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And we are back now with the latest twists and turns in the Robert Blake murder trial underway now out in California. We'll check in now with our Charles Feldman, who is following developments there in the courtroom -- Charles, what's the word?
CHARLES FELDMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Leon, what's the word is that there is an issue that's come up. It's a story that CNN broke many months ago. It has to do with the fact that the LAPD investigators looking into the Robert Blake case had along for the ride from the very beginning a former "L.A. Times" reporter turned book author named Miles Corwin, and the issue now before the judge at the preliminary hearing is whether or not that author's presence tainted this investigation.
Now, we have a videotape that CNN used months back when we broke this story that was made by the LAPD of the search of Blake's home right after the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley, and we are hear in the sound that we are about to play for you the author being introduced on the tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE LLOYD NASH, LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT: I think the testimony that there was an author that was brought along in any investigation, be it this one or any other one is significant in terms of the potential possibility, No. 1, of contamination of evidence, bias of the witness. It's fraught with all kinds of problems. I'm sure that both of you are aware of, and I believe that it is the absolute proper subject of cross-examination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FELDMAN: Now, as you actually heard there, I should point out, is the judge at the preliminary hearing, and he was responding to an attempt by the prosecutor to cut off any line of questioning by the defense attorney about the presence of the book author throughout this investigation. The judge, as you heard, making the argument that this is very important, and it could be tainting this investigation.
Robert Blake himself, who has been impassive for the past few days now is showing some new signs of life. He has been taking notes, actually, throughout the morning. So apparently participating much more in his own defense.
And Leon, very quickly, this is news that I was literally just handed to -- by the attorney who represents the Bakley family in the civil case. Remember, there is a civil case going on too. And it appears to be an order by the judge in the civil case to stop the civil case until the criminal case is completed because of all the problems we have had in the past with deposing Robert Blake.
You may remember a few weeks back, the -- Robert Blake was supposed to be deposed in the civil case. His defense attorney stopped him from talking, threatened to quit if he did. Well, according to this order, the judge is also requesting that that attorney show up for a hearing in June to explain his actions and, again, according to what appears to be this judicial order, the judge in the civil case is now putting halt to it until after the criminal trial is over -- back to you, Leon.
HARRIS: All right. Thanks. Charles Feldman reporting live for us from Los Angeles.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com