Robert Blake's pretrial Barbara Walters interview used in his criminal case: Part 8

Blake did not testify at his criminal trial, but when prosecutors introduced his pretrial interview with Walters, Blake's attorneys seized it as an opportunity to humanize him in front of the jury.
7:18 | 01/12/19

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Transcript for Robert Blake's pretrial Barbara Walters interview used in his criminal case: Part 8
Reporter: The '90s and early 2000s were the era of court TV. That's where I got my start. It was one high profile case after another, and one high profile lawyer after another. When Tom mesereau left the case, Robert Blake could hire just about anyone he wanted. And he ended up hiring someone who was not particularly well known. The first 25 years at least of my career were representing poor people getting paid next to nothing, but that was meaningful. I never thought I would rip accident Robert Blake. Who am I? I believed in his innocence the first time I met him. More than three years after his wife was fatally shot opening statements are set for -- For trial of actor Robert Blake is finally underway. Blake could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of first degree murder in this case. The case was almost entirely circumstantial. It was based on two witnesses, highly unreliable, it was based on very little actual hard evidence. Deputy district attorney Shelly Samuels told jurors that Robert Blake killed his wife Bonnie Lee Bakley because he wanted their baby Rosie but he didn't want her. The evidence will show that the defendant became obsessed with the child and with keeping the child away from Bonnie. I could have sued her for child custody. I could have done a lot of things. And I would probably have won. I dntd have to marry her. It was the very best thing to do for Rosie. The prosecution says Blake solicited two stuntmen to murder Bakley. Prosecutors introduce evidence that Duffy bought a prepaid phone card so he could talk to Blake, and the conversations couldn't be traced. There was a calling card that linked the men with like 30 plus calls leading up to the day of the murder. So Blake says, "Yeah, I reached out to the stunt men, but not to kill Bonnie." He wanted them to chase away a guy that he thought was stalking him and Bonnie. I was getting really worried about what was going on in front of my house. Now, it's true I had a gate, and it was locked, and all like that, but a truck started showing up regularly. Sometimes during the day, sometimes during the night. It was during the day, when I walked out there, they drove away. And I said, "What's Goin' on, here?" I figured it had to do with Bonnie, because she burned a lot of people. Why not let the pros handle it I hired them a Lotta times, to do a Lotta work. Duffy Hambleton worked for me a lot. Gary Mclarty doubled me on baretta. So, why not? And the defense had a witness who could help back it up. Mclarty's own son, Cole. Cole Mclarty gets up on the stand and testifies that Gary Mclarty comes to him a few days after talking to Robert Blake and says Robert Blake's gonna pay me $10,000 to rough up this stalker and I want you to help me. So then Cole goes and tells his mom, and his mom is like "What? What? Why are you -- no! What are you getting involved in this criminal act for?" That's important because it backs up Blake's team's defense that yes, Robert Blake had contact with Mclarty, but no, it wasn't about killing Bonnie Lee Bakley. The other stuntman, Duffy Hambleton, admitted to using a little meth, but the defense dug up a lot more evidence. Duffy lived in a house in the desert in San Bernardino county. He had meth laying all around his house, in a China hutch, in a kitchen cabinet and in a bowl in a bowl beside some jellybeans in his dining room. Although he denied it, Duffy was using so much meth that he once hallucinated that 20 armed men had invaded his house, and he actually called the police for help. So, the witnesses are a problem for the prosecution, but the bigger problem is they can't link Blake to the murder weapon. There's this gun that was found in the dumpster that is the murder weapon. The murder weapon was found in a dumpster right near the car. It was a Walther p38. Blake admits he had a gun with him that night, but it was a completely different gun. He had this one for protection. He says he went back into the restaurant to get it, and that's when Bonnie gets shot. Two guns, one scene, lots of confusion. Prosecutors didn't believe he ever went back to the restaurant. Nobody saw Blake go back into Vitello's including the cashiers, and the host that he would have to walk by. But the defense said it's possible for Blake to have returned to the restaurant and not been seen. You can see right here the booth that Robert had dinner. So if there's not somebody at the front counter, he runs back into the restaurant, grabs the gun and is back out of the restaurant within 15 seconds. Perhaps less. The testimony that you're gonna hear in this case about gun shot residue is gonna indicate that Mr. Blake was not the shooter. In this case, the gun residue is a very, very big part. Why? If Robert Blake is firing that gun, you expect him to have a lot of gun residue on him. If he doesn't, then it stands to reason that he didn't fire the gun. We had our lab, forensic analytical test fire the murder weapon. When fired twice, there were 730 particles of gunshot residue on the hands of the person who fired the gun. Bonnie was shot twice, Robert had no gunshot residue on him. He had minutes to go behind an alley and wash his hands. There was no sink near the car, at the time she was killed. There was no soap available for him to wash his hands. And the entire area was examined. There were no gloves in the vicinity, anywhere. It would have been physically impossible -- conclusion is he never fired that weapon. Then there was the Barbara Walters interview. The prosecution brought up the Barbara Walters interview early in the case and that opened the door for the defense to use it to really humanize Robert Blake. From the second I touched Rosie, it was all about her. What its significance was, was extraordinary because Robert was able to sound incredibly honest and emotional. Robert, how are you feeling? Fine, thank you. Robert Blake was confident as he walked in with his legal team. With the cast of characters straight out of central casting the people have proven what they promised. If you do justice, you will end this nightmare for Mr. Blake, and you will give him back his life. As to the verdicts then, would you please hand them to the bailiff.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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