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Five jurors in Robert Blake civil trial deny misconduct

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Some of the jurors who found Robert Blake liable in a civil case in his wife's death are denying allegations of juror misconduct by the actor's attorneys.

Their statements were submitted Monday in response to a motion filed last week by Blake's attorneys that claimed jurors ignored the judge's instructions by discussing the case before deliberations and prejudging the facts.

The motion seeks a new trial for the wrongful death lawsuit that was brought by the family of Blake's late wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Blake was acquitted last year in criminal court of murdering Bonny Lee Bakley. But a civil court jury that found he ``intentionally caused'' her death and awarded her four children $30 million in damages.

The motion cites numerous alleged acts of juror misconduct, including one woman's failure to disclose that her daughter was in prison on a murder conviction.

Plaintiff's attorney Eric Dubin argued in opposition papers that the allegation does not constitute evidence of a concealed bias. Dubin's filing includes statements from five jurors and two alternates who contend the trial was fair.

Blake's attorney, M. Gerald Schwartzbach, said he hadn't seen Dubin's opposition papers.

A Superior Court judge was scheduled to hear arguments on the motion for a new trial on Friday.

Bakley was found shot to death in the actor's car in May 2001, outside a restaurant where the two had dined. Blake told police he had left her alone briefly while he retrieved a gun he carried for protection and had accidentally left behind in the restaurant.
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