The American actor Robert Blake has been found guilty in a civil trial of the death of his wife.

A California jury determined that Mr. Blake "intentionally caused the death" of Bonny Lee Bakley and ordered him to pay Ms. Bakley's children $30 million in damages.

Earlier this year, Mr. Blake was acquitted of criminal charges he murdered his wife. The civil case required a lesser burden of proof and did not carry the threat of a prison sentence.

Ms. Bakley was shot and killed in 2001 as she sat in the actor's car outside a restaurant where the couple had just dined.

Mr. Blake came to fame in the 1960s with the portrayal of a brutal killer in the movie In Cold Blood and later played a tough detective in the television series Baretta.