The Defense Rests
(Testimony from 23 February 2005)

The Daughter

The day began with a hearing without the jury present at which the lawyers for both sides argued about the timing of the jury instructions relative to closing arguments, and to discuss the prosecution's rebuttal case.

Then defense attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach called to the stand Delinah Blake Hurwitz, the daughter of the defendant and adoptive mother of the infant daughter Blake fathered with Bakley.

Hurwitz, a professor of psychology at California State University at Northridge who was given permanent custody of Rose after Blake was jailed in 2002, said that she formally adopted the girl in August. Now married, her husband is also going through the adoption process. She was visibly pregnant as she took the stand to give testimony in the case.

The witness also recalled for jurors the time in late summer of 2000 when she first took over the care of baby Rose. The then-three-month-old infant, Hurwitz testified, appeared lethargic and neglected. "She appeared to be withdrawn...she didn't raise her head much, she didn't make eye contact, she didn't make any noises in the first two hours I saw her," Hurwitz said, adding that the baby stayed curled up in a fetal position most of the time.

The condition of the infant rapidly improved, however, once Hurwitz began to care for her.

Hurwitz also said that she met Bakley in November of that year when Bakley was in town and asked to see the child. At that time, Hurwitz took the girl to the Studio City home of her father, where he and Bakley spent about an hour with the infant.

On cross, prosecutor Shellie Samuels tried to imply that Blake had tried to get the baby as a favor to Hurwitz, whose previous marriage was annulled. Samuels suggested that the marriage broke up before it even began when the former husband said he didn't want children. But Hurwitz explained to the court that having children was never an issue because, at the time, she was not ready for motherhood, either.

The Father

The final witness to testify for the defense was a Catholic priest, Father George Horan, who testified to the defendant's poor condition when held without bail for nearly eleven months in the men's central jail. But a remark to the effect that Blake feared he might die in custody was stricken from the record. Horan had visited Blake once a week during his incarceration.

Finally, in closing, the defense played another segment of the Barbara Walters interview done in early 2003 in which Blake called Rosie "God's gift of a century," and said adamantly that he would never do anything selfish to mess up the relationship.


Click below to hear audio news about the trial (from KFI Radio, Los Angeles):

Feb. 23 (12 minutes).