LATEST: Robert Blake was planning family life with his late wife Bonny Lee Bakley just before she was murdered, the actor testified in a California court on Wednesday (05OCT05).

The BARETTA star, 72, is currently battling a civil lawsuit brought by the children of Bakley, who was found murdered in his car outside a restaurant in Studio City, California, in May 2001. Blake was acquitted of fatally shooting Bakley in March (05), but her grown-up kids claim he is responsible for her death.

Blake denies responsibility for her death and claims the couple were looking forward to life together with their young baby ROSIE, now five.

Speaking in Burbank Superior Court, Blake said, "There was a clear understanding that Rosie belonged to me and Bonny.

"She was ours and we were going to raise her."

Blake said he and Bakley honeymooned only a month before the actress was killed, and they had placed Rosie in the care of his adult daughter DELINAH while they spent quality time together.

In response to questions about the night of Bakley's murder, the family's lawyer ERIC DUBIN asked why Blake took a loaded gun to the meal at Vitello's restaurant, where the couple dined just before Bakley was fatally shot.

Blake claimed he had "security concerns" because people had been hanging around his house. In his criminal trial earlier this year (05), Blake said, "There were some strange things happening outside my house. It scared me."

Blake admits he loaded the gun before he left their home and left in the restaurant. Blake claims he left it in Vitello's, and Bakley was murdered while he returned to the eaterie to retrieve it.