Robert Blake freed on bail as trial looms. A judge ruled that Blake must stand trial for the murder of his wife, but also set him free on bail

By Brian Hiatt
March 13, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

For Robert Blake, the good news is that he will be allowed out of jail on $1.5 million bail. The bad news, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, is that a judge ruled Thursday that Blake will have to stand trial for the May 2001 murder of his wife. Blake, who’s been in jail since April 2002, will be under house arrest while out on bail, and will wear a monitoring device, a D.A. spokesperson said.

””It is obvious that the relationship between Mr. Blake and the victim in this case became very hostile on Mr. Blake’s part,” Superior Court Judge Lloyd Nash said as he ordered the trial to go forward, according to Reuters. “The scenario appears to be one in which Mr. Blake had the time, opportunity and motive to commit shooting.”

A trial date for Blake has not been set, but he will arraigned on murder charges March 27. He’ll be tried alongside former bodyguard Earle Caldwell, who’s accused of conspiracy to commit murder. Blake has long been trying to get out of jail, complaining that various health complaints made it impossible for him to aid his defense while behind bars. Blake, who denies any involvement in the crime, is accused of shooting wife Bonny Lee Bakley while she sat in his car two years ago.