Actor is repaid $1 million bail of co-defendant

November 18, 2003|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles judge ordered the return of $1 million in cash to Robert Blake yesterday. The actor, accused of murdering his wife, had posted bail for his co-defendant, handyman Earle S. Caldwell.

Prosecutors also announced they would not appeal a decision to drop criminal charges against Caldwell. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Darlene E. Schempp, who will preside over the Blake trial next year, ordered Caldwell's bail returned during a brief hearing.

Deputy District Attorney Shellie L. Samuels told the judge that her office had decided against challenging Schempp's Oct. 31 decision to dismiss one count against Blake and the only criminal charge pending against Caldwell.

The 70-year-old actor still faces life in prison on charges that he killed his wife and solicited others to kill her.

Prosecutors had accused Caldwell of helping Blake to plot the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley, 44. Blake married her after tests proved him the father of Bakley's youngest child, Rosie.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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