Troubled actor Robert Blake has won a two-month postponement on the start of his murder trial.

The trial had been set to open on 9 September (04), but a LOS ANGELES COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT judge agreed to a defence request for more time to prepare for the case, ruling that jury selection should begin by 1 November (04), says a spokeswoman for prosecutors.

Former BARETTA star Blake attended the Friday (16JUL04) hearing and is due back in the courtroom on 20 August (04) for a pretrial examination of a prosecution witness.

The 70-year-old actor has pleaded innocent to charges of murdering his wife Bonny Lee Bakley and soliciting two other men to kill her. Bakley, 44, was shot to death on 4 May, 2001, as she sat in Blake's car in an alley behind the Los Angeles-area restaurant where they had just dined.

Blake, who is free on $1.5 million (GBP833,000) bail, is also a defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Bakley's four children.

18/07/2004 14:25