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Blake buries slain wife, thanks her for baby

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Actor Robert Blake pledged to give his daughter a good life as he buried his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, nearly three weeks after she was shot and killed.

Blake, 67, held the couple's 11-month-old daughter, Rose, during the brief Catholic graveside service Friday for his 44-year-old wife of just six months.

"I stand before God to make this pledge: As long as I have breath, I will do everything to make my daughter Rosie's life the best I can, the best I can," he said in his first public comments since the killing.

"It's because of Bonnie that Rosie was born," Blake continued. "It was her conviction, not mine -- her dedication that brought Rosie into this world. And for that I thank God and I thank Bonnie."

The star of the 1970s detective television series "Baretta" was flanked by his adult son and daughter from a previous marriage. The two dozen people attending the service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park were outnumbered by the media.

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A lawyer representing Bakley's sister, Margerry, said her family decided against attending because they were upset at comments from Blake's attorney that described his wife as a woman with a sordid past. Blake's attorney has said that Blake married Bakley only because she had become pregnant with his daughter.

"They have attempted to dehumanize LeeBonnie," said lawyer Cary Goldstein, calling her by her nickname. "She had siblings, she had children other than her child with Blake. She has a mother, and they're all grieving at her death. She is not a cartoon character."

Bakley's second husband, Paul Gawron, told CNN he didn't find out about the burial arrangements until late Thursday night, when Bakley's mother called him and told him she had just found out about the funeral herself.

Gawron, who lives in Memphis, said he had bought their 7-year-old daughter a new outfit to wear to her mother's funeral had it been held in New Jersey as originally planned.

Bakley was shot in the head May 4 outside a Los Angeles restaurant after the couple had eaten there. Blake said he had left her alone in the car when he returned to the restaurant to retrieve his gun.

The Los Angeles Police Department has not named a suspect in the case, but has not ruled out Blake. Through his attorney, Blake has denied any involvement in her killing.

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