Bob Bashara, a 54-year-old Grosse Pointe Park man, has been the central figure in a twisted murder plot since the first of this year, after his wife Jane was killed and Bashara’s handyman accused of killing her. Now, Bashara has been sentenced to 80 months to 20 years in prison by Judge Bruce Morrow for soliciting a hit on Joseph Gentz, his former handyman. Allegedly, Bashara wanted to get rid of the “witness” whom he hired to kill his wife in January.
Joseph Gentz appeared at Bashara’s sentencing, and although he was not in handcuffs, he has been charged with strangling Jane Bashara to death on January 25th. He remains in police custody, and claims that Bashara threatened him with the Mafia. Susan Reed, Gentz’s attorney, read a statement from her client in the courtroom which stated, “He told me he had friends in the Mafia and would have me killed. I was afraid for my life because he told me he could get me anywhere.”
Bashara pleaded guilty to solicitation in a plea deal, and said that the reason he denied guilt in the beginning was because he feared being abandoned by family and friends, and did not want to lose the respect of the community. Bashara is a philanthropist who had worked to care for the needy, collecting clothing, food, books and other supplies. Bashara pleaded for leniency, saying that he had made a promise to his grandfather that he would care for his mother in her later years. Assistant Prosecutor Robert Moran argued for an 85 month sentence, saying that Bashara was living a dual life and was the one “who decided to hire a hit man to kill someone.”
News reports claim that Bashara’s marriage was far from being happy, and that a neighbor of the Hard Luck Lounge on Mack reportedly saw Bob Bashara and others dressed in dark clothing visiting a basement thought to be a S & M sex dungeon by some. While the handyman (Gentz) is facing first-degree murder charges, Bob Bashara remains a person of interest in his wife’s death; police found her strangled body in an SUV several miles from her upscale home, in a Detroit alley.
Michigan criminal defense attorneys know that charges of solicitation are quite different from other criminal charges, and typically apply to serious felony crimes. Because of the complexity of the laws regarding solicitation, it is a must to have a competent, effective attorney.
Individuals who are charged with first-degree murder, homicide, solicitation of murder or any violent crime should consult with a skilled Michigan murder defense lawyer immediately.