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Judge grants new attorneys for Robert Blake

Robert Blake
Robert Blake

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Felony complaint: People v. Blake  (FindLaw document, PDF format)external link

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A judge Tuesday granted the request of actor Robert Blake for new legal representation in his trial on charges of killing his wife.

Attorneys Thomas Mesereau and Jennifer Keller will replace Harland Braun, who quit last month after Blake arranged to do an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer against Braun's advice.

The change of lawyers was approved by Superior Court Judge Lloyd Nash.

Blake, 69, is charged with murder in the May 4, 2001 fatal shooting of Bonnie Lee Bakley, his wife of six months, outside a Studio City restaurant where they had just dined. He was arrested nearly a year later and has been held without bond ever since.

Blake has steadfastly denied he killed his wife.

The former star of the 1970s television series "Baretta" has pleaded not guilty to murder, two counts of soliciting murder, conspiracy and the special circumstance of lying in wait.

Earlier in November, Blake refused to give a jail house deposition in the wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of Bakley's four children.

According to his law firm's Web site, Mesereau "has served as counsel in many high-profile trials" including murder and security fraud cases. Mesereau is a 1979 graduate of the University of California's law school and a 1973 Harvard graduate, according to the Web site.

Mesereau served as local counsel to Mike Tyson when the San Bernardino district attorney's office was investigating a rape allegation against the boxer. The charges were never filed.

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