Robert Blake's lawyer attacked the credibility of stuntman GARY McLARTY in a California court yesterday (15FEB05), after McLarty testified the actor had tried to hire him to kill Bonny Lee Bakley.

Blake is currently on trial in Van Nuys, California, for the murder of his wife Bakley, who was fatally shot in the BARETTA star's car in May 2001.

McLarty's son COLE McLARTY testified yesterday his father was paranoid, delusional and constantly under the influence of cocaine.

Cole admitted his father had met with Blake, but the actor's request was very different from the one McLarty alleged.

Cole says, "He just said that Mr. Blake had somebody stalking him and he wanted their eyes blackened and he offered money."

Blake's attorney M GERALD SCHWARTZBACH asked Cole, "Do you recall your father saying anything about Mr Blake wanting his wife killed?"

Cole answered, "No".

McLarty's estranged wife KAREN McLARTY says the stuntman used cocaine for the majority of their 30-year marriage, although they have been separated for 16 years.

Also in court yesterday was Blake's former maid LIDIA BENAVIDES, who claims she saw a "suspicious" car parked near the actor's house twice in the weeks leading up to the murder.

During Benavides' cross-examination by Deputy District Attorney SHELLI SAMUELS, she admitted she had been "a little" worried about the vehicle.

The case continues.

16/02/2005 17:42