Sheriff denies Sawyer permission to interview Blake in jail. The proposed interview, over which Blake's attorney resigned, would be too disruptive, officials say

Looks like attorney Harland Braun may have quit Robert Blake’s defense team for nothing. Braun told he dropped out of the actor’s murder defense effort on Monday because Blake had insisted on letting ABC’s Diane Sawyer interview him on-camera this Friday, but now, it looks like that interview may not take place. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has denied permission for Sawyer and a camera crew to interview Blake in the jailhouse, where he has been held without bail since his arrest in April. ”These kinds of interviews are not traditionally done,” a spokesman for Baca told Reuters. ”They fly in the face of jail security. Unless there’s some reason the public needs to know, there’s really no exception.”

On Monday, Braun told that he didn’t think it mattered whether or not the sheriff granted permission for the interview because he expected Blake to be freed soon, pending his appeal to the California Supreme Court over the trial judge’s ruling to deny bail. Even so, he quit because he thought it was a foolish idea for Blake, who has pleaded not guilty in the shooting death of wife Bonny Lee Bakley last year, to give an on-camera interview before the trial, as he noted in a letter to Judge Lloyd Nash asking permission to be removed from Blake’s defense team.

”We have a public who has an open mind to judge this case,” Braun told the New York Post. ”If Robert goes on TV, he might damage that… by creating a false impression.” He added, ”Even if the sheriff doesn’t allow the interview this week, he’s going to have that need and as soon as he’s out on bail. He’s going to want to be on camera telling his side and that’s not going to change.”

Braun told Reuters it gave him no pleasure to tell Blake to look for a new defense attorney. He said, ”It’s sad. I like him, I think he’s innocent, I think the case against him is very weak. Who would want to give up one of the biggest cases in the country that you think you’re going to win?”