Grosse Pointe ParkJune 26, 2012
Bob Bashara arrested, accused of trying to have witness killed
By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer
Late in the day June 25, Park Public Safety officers arrested Park resident Bob Bashara and charged him with solicitation to commit murder — not of his late wife, Jane Bashara, but of a witness in her case.
Sources say Bob Bashara is accused of trying to hire someone to kill Joseph Gentz, the handyman who said he murdered Jane Bashara at her husband’s behest. The arrest comes exactly five months after the slain woman’s body was discovered Jan. 25 in her SUV, which was abandoned in an alley on Detroit’s east side.
Gentz, who is currently in jail on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, was, at press time, the sole person charged in the murder of Jane Bashara, 56, who was apparently strangled, likely in her garage, on Jan. 24.
Park Public Safety Director David Hiller confirmed that Bob Bashara had been arrested June 25, but declined to offer any comment.
David Griem, the defense attorney representing Bob Bashara, said he was “completely bewitched, bothered and bewildered” by the sudden arrest, as was his client. He said Bob Bashara has done everything police have asked him to do over the last several months.
“Bob denies anything illegal took place,” Griem said outside Park City Hall the evening of June 25, shortly after Bob Bashara had been transported from there to a Detroit detention facility. “He was completely in shock.”
A source who asked not to be identified said Bashara was in a garage in the alley behind several businesses he owns on Mack in the Park when he was taken into custody. The source didn’t know if Bashara was alone at the time.
Griem expressed disbelief in the theory that his client tried to have Gentz killed behind bars. Gentz is currently being held at the William Dickerson Detention Facility in Hamtramck, and the attorney said it would “have to be somebody extraordinarily talented to get into” that facility and execute the hit.
“If it was Joe Gentz, it’s pretty tough to commit a hit on a person under custody,” Griem said. “If there was to be a hit, I was going to take care of it on the witness stand.”
The attorney confirmed that police also searched his client’s vehicle, which is standard procedure. Griem said he didn’t expect Bob Bashara would be bonded out, saying that given these charges, the likelihood of his client being released pending trial was on a par with the likelihood of the Detroit Tigers winning all of the rest of their games this season.
Griem, who had assembled a team of investigators to look into another possible suspect in Jane Bashara’s murder, said they had originally been scheduled to meet to discuss that possible suspect at 4 p.m. June 26. Given the arrest, however, Griem said that meeting would likely have to be put on hold.
At press time, Bob Bashara was being held in a Detroit jail awaiting arraignment. Griem said he expected an arraignment to take place June 27.
The arrest follows a gathering of Jane Bashara’s friends June 22 at Patterson Park in Grosse Pointe Park for what would have been her 57th birthday. Organized by the anonymous group Justice for Jane, the event included the release of dozens of purple balloons in her honor, according to a Justice for Jane organizer. The group plans to hold a community vigil for the late marketing executive and mother in August, and is currently selling Justice for Jane lawn signs, tree ribbons, car magnets and wristbands to raise money for this event. To purchase a sign or other reminder items, send an email to Justice4Jane@yahoo.com. For more information, visit www.justice4jane.forumotion.com.
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