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Actor Robert Blake still searching for a lawyer

Robert Blake in court earlier this month.
Robert Blake in court earlier this month.

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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- After more than two weeks without an attorney, actor Robert Blake -- who is accused of killing his wife -- told a judge Monday he has been unable to find a lawyer to represent him.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Darlene Schempp set September 9 as the trial date and urged Blake to find an attorney as soon as possible.

The judge rejected Blake's request to search for four more weeks and ordered Blake to return to court in a week with an attorney. She noted his quest to find out-of-state lawyers and advised against those attempts.

"I'm really not sure that that's in your best interest to hire someone from out of state," she said. "That's just a bit of advice, because once this trial gets started I want it to go smoothly."

Allison Shalinsky, Blake's civil attorney, escorted him during the brief hearing.

Blake, 70, who once starred in the 1970s police detective show "Baretta," is charged with killing his 44-year-old wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, outside a restaurant where they had dined on May 4, 2001.

He has denied committing the crime.

The judge dismissed Blake's previous attorney, Thomas Mesereau Jr., on February 5, citing irreconcilable differences between the defendant and the attorney. Mesereau was the third attorney to work the case for Blake.

Blake lost two other attorneys because of his desire to do TV interviews.

The first, Harland Braun, left in October 2002 after Blake agreed to talk to ABC's Diane Sawyer, an interview that never took place.

The second, Jennifer Keller, left because Blake agreed to an interview with Barbara Walters.


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