A jury acquitted tough-guy actor Robert Blake of murder Wednesday in the shooting death of his wife four years ago, bringing a dramatic end to a case that played out like pulp fiction.
Following nine days of deliberations, the jury also acquitted Blake of one charge of trying to get someone to kill Bonny Lee Bakley but deadlocked on a second solicitation charge. The jury voted 11-1 in favor of acquittal and the judge dismissed the count.
The 71-year-old star of the 1970s detective drama “Baretta” dropped his head, trembled with emotion and sobbed heavily after the verdicts were read.
Outside the courthouse, Blake was cheered by supporters and put out a cigarette he had been smoking before he thanked his defense team and said some friends and associates who had given interviews about him were liars.
He also described the financial toll the case had taken.
“If you want to know how to go through $10 million in five years, ask me,” he said. “I’m broke. I need a job.”