After a pretty rough month in the legal system--what with the arrest, murder charges, jail without bail and a big-bucks wrongful-death lawsuit against him--Robert Blake has finally scored a courtroom victory of sorts.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Thursday granted Blake's adult daughter, Delinah, temporary custody of her half-sister, Rosie--the child Blake had with his slain wife Bonny Lee Bakley.

The actor had been hopeful that Delinah, who has been tending to Rosie since he was arrested and charged with murdering Bakley last month, would retain guardianship of the toddler.

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> Delinah, a 35-year-old psychologist, is seeking permanent custody of her sister. She says she has really been taking care of Rosie since the girl was three months old, essentially acting as her mother. The judge will hear arguments for permanent custody on July 25.

So far, the Bakley family hasn't objected to Delinah Blake's guardianship.

Rosie, who turns two next month, is central to the Bakley murder case. It was only after she was born and Robert Blake's paternity was confirmed via a DNA test that the 68-year-old former Baretta star agreed to marry Bakley in November 2000. Six months later, she was shot dead near a restaurant in Studio City, California, and authorities say Blake pulled the trigger after failing to hire a hit man. Blake's bodyguard, Earle Caldwell, has been charged as a coconspirator.

Rosie is also listed as one of the defendants in the wrongful-death lawsuit pending against Blake. Bakley's family brought the suit on behalf of the murdered woman's four children from various relationships. That case will likely be heard after Blake's murder trial.

Delinah is one of two adult children Blake had with his first wife, Sondra. The ex-couple, who divorced in 1983 after nearly 20 years of marriage, also have a son, an actor named Noah Blake.

Robert Blake, meanwhile, remains locked up at Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. The 68-year-old actor, who has pleaded innocent to the murder rap, faces a sentence of life imprisonment without parole if convicted.

His next court appearance is slated for May 20.