A judge presiding over actor Robert Blake's murder trial has refused to permit TV coverage during testimony.

LOS ANGELES SUPERIOR COURT judge DARLENE SCHEMPP is only allowing television cameras in the courtroom during opening statements, closing arguments and the verdict, but fears that if witnesses watch the testimony of those preceding them into court, it could affect what they say.

He notes, "You can't expect that witnesses won't watch. And witnesses on the stand for two or three days might go home and watch their own testimony and decide to change it."

Former BARETTA star Blake is charged with shooting his wife BONNY LEE BAKLEY to death as she sat in a car outside a Los Angeles restaurant where the two had just had dinner in 2001.

The trial is scheduled to begin after a final round of jury selection which starts on 17 February (04).

03/02/2004 13:27