$15M Cash-Only Bond Set for Bob Bashara
Bob Bashara appeared in 36th District Court via video-conference Wednesday for his arraignment for soliciting someone to kill Joe Gentz. He will appear in court again July 24.
Joe Gentz may not have been the only target of Bob Bashara's attempt to contract to kill, according to information presented by Wayne County Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey Wednesday in 36th District Court.
Bob Bashara entered a plea of not guilty during his arraignment, where he appeared via video-conference for a single count of solicitation for murder against Joe Gentz--the man charged with first degree murder in Bashara's wife's death. Jane Bashara, who was strangled to death in January, would have turned 57 Friday.
Lindsey argued for a $25 million cash-only bond before Magistrate Charles W. Anderson III, providing a litany of information about the case, including that Rachel Gillett and another unnamed witness may have also been targeted for contracted killings by Bob Bashara.
Gillett is the self-identified mistress of Bob Bashara who sought and received a personal protection order against Bashara in April, telling a judge in that case she was fearful of him and intimidated by him. She reported that when they were involved, she was under the impression that Bashara was getting divorced from his wife, Jane Bashara.
The other witness, who Lindsey declined to identify during the hearing, is yet another mistress who lives out of state, according to her attorney, David Draper, who attended Wednesday's arraignment. His offices are in Grosse Pointe Farms.
Meanwhile, Bashara's attorneys, Christina Utley and David Griem argued for a reasonable bond, urging the magistrate to use his discretion. Utley argued that Bashara has no criminal history, is not an aggressive person historically or in personality, that he is not a flight risk, that he has been cooperative with investigators thus far and has many ties to the Grosse Pointes.
She also highlighted that he is a third-generation Grosse Pointer who is involved with charity events, church and "hugely, passionately devoted to the Rotary Club at the local and regional levels." He is not a danger to the community, Utley said, explaining she believes there are several members of the Grosse Pointe community who would attest to that information.
Utley also pointed out that Bashara has had five months to leave but hasn't gone anywhere but Iowa and Canada, both times informing officials of his travels.
"This is not the type of defendant you'd normally see in court," Utley said.
Earlier this year, one of the Grosse Pointe Rotary officials told Patch Bashara is no longer a part of the organization.
Lindsey, however, argued that the case merits a high-cash bond for a variety of reasons. She argued that Bashara has exhibited aggressive behavior toward Jane Bashara's mother and Gillett, but also to some of his rental property tenants, who he threatened to kick out if they talked to investigators about his affair. Lindsey quoted Bashara using foul language in the courtroom to emphasize his behavior.
Additionally, yet another witness in the case reported being harassed by Bashara, including a car that sat in front of her home on three different occasions, followed her to and from work but then drove off when she attempted to take a photograph.
"A contract had been put out on Gentz," Lindsey said. "When we first heard this, we thought this is crazy; it makes no sense." She continued explaining that upon investigating it, the reports were true.
Lindsey also reviewed Bashara's finances, explaining he has properties in Wayne County that are valued at more than $4.6 million; additional properties in Macomb County totaling in value more than $3 million and that his mother, Nancy Bashara, is also financially well off.
The $25 million cash-only bond she requested, she said was "not out of the question" considering the family's financial status.
Lindsey also said she believes he's likely to commit the same crime again if he is released.
Anderson ruled that the bond would be set at $15 million. Unlike the typical bond, which requires 10% of the total as a guarantee to reappear in court, Andersonset it as cash-only requiring full payment in order to be released.
He also ordered that if Bashara is able to make bond, that he be placed on a GPS tether and submit his passport and his driver's license to the court pending the outcome of the case.
A preliminary exam has been scheduled to begin July 24 and Griem hinted in court that it may be a two-day hearing.
Outside of 36th District Court, Nancy Bashara declined comment to media.
Griem said there was no way Bashara would be able to make bond and described the case as being questionable. He stopped short of saying Bashara was set up but said investigators have been out to get him in any manner possible, so this was their vehicle.
He declined to identify the person whom prosecutors are saying was paid at least one payment to kill Joe Gentz before his next competency hearing on July 23.
Gentz's attorney, Susan Reed, said outside the courthouse that while Bashara may not be a risk to the general public, he is a risk to witnesses in the case. Gentz is still bothered by the situation despite Wayne County officials taking precautions with him while in custody at a different facility than Bashara.
Reed said she heard rumblings of a hit on her client before investigations confirmed it. She revealed that she is the person to whom the unidentified hired hitman contacted after being contacted by Bashara about Gentz. "I heard it before. I thought he wouldn't be that stupid, but apparently he was."