Bob Bashara's Bond Reduction Request Pending
The judge heard arguments early Thursday in Third Circuit Court on a bond reduction request from Bob Bashara's attorney. Prosecutors oppose any change, saying his behavior since being in jail has continued to be of concern.
Bob Bashara will remain in custody pending the outcome of a brief hearing Thursday in Third Circuit Court in which his attorney requested a reduction in his $15 million cash-only bond to an amount he deems to be more reasonable.
Judge Bruce Morrow will rule on the arguments heard Thursday by next Tuesday, Sept. 18, he said, declaring the brief hearing concluded after Bashara's attorney and prosecutors gave their reasons for and against a bond reduction.
Bashara's attorney, Mark Kriger, requested the bond reduction in a motion filed earlier this week. Among his arguments is that the current bond is unreasonable and only meant to keep Bashara in custody for the duration of the case.
Bashara is charged with solicitation to murder. He is accused of hiring a hitman to kill Joe Gentz before one of his competency evaluation hearings. Gentz is being housed at the Dickerson Lockup Facility on charges of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the January strangulation death of Jane Bashara—Bob Bashara's wife.
Kriger also argued that some of what prosecutors have presented as reasons to not grant the reduction are simply not true—specifically identifying Bob Bashara's loss of family support. Kriger said the prosecutors took one part of a phone call between family members out of context and without consideration for the fact that all family members get frustrated with each other, especially in times of stress.
He asked the judge to reduce the bond to $500,000 with a 10 percent provision, meaning Bashara could pay $50,000 to get out. He also said Bashara is willing to put up an apartment building he owns in St. Clair Shores up for collateral if the judge so wishes.
Kriger said additional conditions could also be implemented to ensure he is not a flight risk, including:
- House arrest with a GPS tether
- Surrendering his driver's license and passport
- Any other conditions the judge would deem necessary
Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey meanwhile argued against the judge making any change to the bond. She had requested originally a significant bond without the 10 percent provision—which was granted—due to Bob Bashara's widespread property ownership and the sheer value adding up to millions of dollars.
Lindsey told the judge Bob Bashara's behavior has continued to be of concern while he's been housed in the Wayne County Jail, including attempts to evict tenants who were to testify against him, pleas to get the prosecutor's office to seek approval from Jane's family for leniency and attempts to get his family to contact the prosecutor's office for similar requests.
She specifically mentioned two witnesses of concern—one is the second of Bob Bashara's mistresses who lives out of state and first met through a sexual bondage website; the second is a tenant who was only known to Bashara and law enforcement on an order for protection that was filed before the criminal charges. Within seven minutes of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announcing the charges against Bob Bashara in a press conference, he called his aunt to request his cousin file eviction paperwork on that tenant, Lindsey said.
Lindsey also defended her portrayal of a conversation between Bashara and his mother, in which she says "I'm done" with the situation. Lindsey said her comment came after she listened to audiotapes of information exchanged in discovery for the criminal case.
Her main concerns are that he is still a risk to the community, specifically to potential witnesses and the seriousness of the offense. The only charge of a more serious nature is murder, she said.
Lindsey said in addition to losing family support, he's lost support of friends and is trying to start disconnecting himself from Grosse Pointe. He is beginning to attempt to sell his home, she said.
Kriger disputed the support argument again and ended the hearing by saying that Bashara is "strapped financially" and would like to be able to try to keep his business afloat pending the outcome of the case.