LOS ANGELES (AP) -- As actor Robert Blake's case moves toward the courtroom, lawyers are at odds over whether cameras will be there to capture the drama.
Defense attorney Harland Braun said he would move to keep TV cameras out of the courtroom at Blake's arraignment, which was expected Monday, and would oppose such coverage if the case were to go to trial.
"I know that people are going to argue there's a First Amendment right to see this case on television," Braun said. "But this is a Hollywood case. It's not an issue of national security."
Blake, best known for his role on the detective series "Baretta," was arrested Thursday along with his bodyguard Earle Caldwell. Both were booked for investigation of the shooting murder of Blake's 44-year-old wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, outside a restaurant last May 4.
If prosecutors approve a complaint, Blake, 68, and Caldwell, 46, would be arraigned Monday in a suburban courthouse a few miles from the restaurant where Bakley and his wife dined the night she was killed.
Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for county District Attorney Steve Cooley, said prosecutors will oppose an attempt to restrict media coverage.
"We believe cameras should be in the courtroom. Mr. Cooley's policy is one of public right of access to criminal trials," Gibbons said.
Braun also said he would quickly make a motion to set reasonable bail for Blake, who is being held without bail. He said it will prolong pretrial preparation if Blake is in jail and unavailable to help him prepare the case.
If Blake is charged with murder with special circumstances, there will be no bail available, Gibbons said. If the charge is murder without special circumstances, presumptive bail is $1 million, she said.
If the case goes to trial, it could provide a ghostly glimpse of Blake's murdered wife, whose bizarre past will become an issue for both sides.
Jurors are likely to hear about the woman who trolled the bars of North Hollywood looking for a celebrity companion, the divorcee who left a trail of ex-husbands and other men who claimed they had been conned out of large sums of money.
Braun maintains there were scores of people with motives to kill Bakley. Police contend one man had the most potent motive -- Robert Blake.
"We believe the motive is Robert Blake had contempt for Bonny Bakley," said police Capt. Jim Tatreau. "He felt he was trapped in a marriage that he wanted no part of and, quite frankly, the situation was not to his liking at all."
Another figure will hover over the trial -- the little girl known as Rosie.
"The picture of him holding his daughter at the funeral will be the symbol of the defense," said Loyola University law professor Laurie Levenson.
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