Bob Bashara Arrested for Conspiracy to Murder Witness
Grosse Pointe Park Director of Public Safety David Hiller told Grosse Pointe Patch on Monday that Bob Bashara was arrested Monday. He is accused of conspiracy to murder an unidentified witness.
The widower of Jane E. Bashara, Bob Bashara, has been arrested. Details of his arrest were sparse as of Monday night, but the arrest happened about 6 p.m. outside a building in the 15400 block of Mack Avenue that he owns, his attorney David Griem said.
Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Director David Hiller confirmed the arrest to Patch on Monday but declined to release more details.
Media is swarming the Grosse Pointe Park municipal building following Bashara's arrest. He was transferred to Wayne County Jail shortly before 8 p.m. from Grosse Pointe Park's lockup, Griem said.
Outside the Park municipal building, Griem told Patch that Bashara has been charged with conspiracy to murder a witness. He said the witness is not identified in the official charging paperwork.
Griem said he was upset that a promise by police and prosecutors to inform him of an arrest prior to it happening was not kept. He called it a "gentleman's understanding" agreed to in exchange for Bashara's cooperation—something he revealed during a press conference with media at his offices shortly after being hired by Bashara.
Griem also described the charge as far-fetched, especially if the witness Bashara is accused of conspiring to murder is Joe Gentz, he said, pointing out he is the handyman facing murder charges in Jane Bashara's death.
"Who in their right mind would arrange a hit inside a prison," Griem said, adding he believes it is clear that Gentz is bargaining with authorities who will do anything to get Bob Bashara.
Bashara's Lincoln Navigator was impounded by police during his arrest Monday. His mother, Nancy Bashara, tried to get into it at the police station but was stopped by officers and then interviewed by a television reporter, according to witnesses.
Griem and Bashara's co-council Christina Utley were scheduled to have a meeting Tuesday with investigating officials to discuss other "potential suspects." He said Monday night that meeting will likely be canceled.
Spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, Maria Miller, declined comment via email late Monday. Hiller said there will be a press conference Tuesday with more information.
Bob Bashara was identified as a "person of interest" in his wife's January strangulation death in the days after her body was discovered and the investigation began. She would have turned 57 on Friday.
Thus far Joe Gentz, a handyman who worked briefly for Bob Bashara doing repair work on rental properties, is the only person charged in Jane Bashara's death. He is facing first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges, both of which carry life sentences.
He is undergoing a second competency evaluation to determine whether he is able to stand trial in the case. He is expected back in 36th District Court in mid-July.
Neighbors and friends on Middlesex, where the Basharas lived and raised their children, came out to talk about the arrest Monday. Many said they had been waiting for the arrest. Traffic on the street was busy, most likely, neighbors said, from gawkers hearing about the arrest and driving by Bashara's house.
Within view from of his home are lawn signs that read Justice 4 Jane, an advocacy campaign to keep the investigation alive on behalf and in memory of Jane Bashara.
The signs have been going up in lawns across the Pointes as friends—even some strangers—grew frustrated that the person they believe was involved in Jane's death was going on with life, showing up regularly to Grosse Pointe Park Little League games at Defer Elementary School.
Bashara was a leader in the league for years and was behind the founding of the concession stand. He also had been seen at the St. Joan of Arc fair last month and was asked to leave, and neighbors on Middlesex say it was typical to see him driving down the road, windows down, music blaring.
Stay with Grosse Pointe Patch for more updates.
John Hetzler and Sara Eaton Martin of Patch contributed to this story.
This article was updated with additional information from the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office at 8:24 p.m. Monday June 25, 2012. This article was updated with more additional information regarding Bashara's arrest at 9:22 p.m. Monday June 25, 2012.
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