Today Judge Vonda Evans sentenced Robert Bashara to mandatory life in prison without parole on the charge of First Degree Murder for the homicide of his wife Jane Bashara. He was also sentenced on the charges of: Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder to mandatory life in prison without parole; Solicitation to Commit Murder to 18 to 40 years; Witness Intimidation to 2 to 10 years; and Obstruction of Justice to 1 to 5 years in the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Before the sentence hearing began today Robert Bashara was allowed to represent himself to present what he characterized as an Emergency Motion to Declare a Mistrial arguing that he did not receive a fair trial. He also requested that his history of public service be added to the presentence report. Judge Evans denied his motion for a mistrial. She allowed the defendant time to time to review the pre-sentence report and granted his request to add his history of public service to the document.
On December 18, 2014, a jury convicted the defendant after a 12 week jury trial. On April 17, 2013, Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy charged Robert Bashara, 57, formerly of Grosse Pointe Park in connection with the homicide of his wife Jane Bashara, 56, in their marital home located in the 500 block of Middlesex in Grosse Pointe Park. Robert Moran, Chief of Special Investigations and Lisa Lindsey, Lead Assistant Prosecuting Attorney prosecuted the case. They were assisted by Lead Assistant Prosecutor Patrick Muscat and Assistant Prosecutor Mark Hindelang. Mr. Muscat handled the sentence hearing today.
"We certainly hope that the Bashara children and family members of Jane Bashara will be able to carry on with their lives knowing that justice has been served.
"I want to thank those involved in the three year investigation and prosecution would not have been possible without the tireless dedication of the Wayne County Assistant Prosecutors, Investigators, and Staff; the Federal and State agencies and the Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park Police Departments," said Prosecutor Worthy.
On April 17, 2013 Prosecutor charged Robert Bashara, 55, of Grosse Pointe Park in connection with the homicide of his wife Jane Bashara, 56, in their marital home located in the 500 block of Middlesex in Grosse Pointe Park. Robert Moran, Chief of Special Investigations and Lisa Lindsey, Lead Assistant Prosecuting Attorney prosecuted the case.
On January 24, 2012, at approximately 11:35 p.m. it is alleged that Robert Bashara called the Grosse Pointe Park Police and reported that his wife had not come home. On January 25, 2012, the Detroit Police Department responded to a police run in reference to a dead female in a black Mercedes located in the rear of an alley in the 19400 block of Annott on the east side of Detroit. The female was identified as Jane Bashara.
On January 31, 2012, Joseph Gentz, 49, formerly of Grosse Pointe Park, walked into the Grosse Park Police Department and turned himself in for the murder of Jane Bashara; however, after being held in police custody for 72 hours, he was released by the police. On March 2, 2012, Gentz was charged and arrested for First Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the homicide of Jane Bashara. Gentz pleaded guilty on December 21, 2012, to Second Degree Murder with a sentence agreement of 17 years to 28 years in the Michigan Department of Corrections with the condition that he testifies truthfully in any proceedings. During the guilty plea, he stated that he was paid by Bashara to kill his wife. He was sentenced on February 19, 2012 before Judge Vonda Evans and is currently serving the 17 to 28 year sentence in Michigan Department of Corrections.
During the course of the ongoing investigation into the homicide of Jane Bashara, it was discovered that he planned to have Joseph Gentz killed while he was incarcerated. Bashara had several meetings with individuals who he paid to have Joseph Gentz murdered in the jail between the dates of June 8 and June 25, 2012. On June 27, 2012, Bashara was charged with Solicitation of Murder, a felony that carries a penalty of Life or Any Term of Years in prison. On October, 11, 2012, he pleaded guilty as charged to Solicitation to Murder Joseph Gentz at a pre-trial hearing before Judge Bruce U. Morrow. Bashara was sentenced on December 10, 2013, and is currently serving 80 months to 240 months in the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Bashara was originally charged with:
- First Degree Murder (Mandatory Life without Parole),
- Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder (Life or Any Term of Years),
- Solicitation to Commit Murder (Life or any Term of Years),
- Suborning of Perjury During a Capital Trial (Life or Any Term of Years), This count was dismissed by the court in a directed verdict motion on December 2, 2014
- Witness Intimidation (15 Years) and
- Obstruction of Justice (Five years).
The investigation into the death of Jane Bashara took approximately one year and three months because of the complexity of the case. Numerous tips were tracked down that lead to important evidence in the case. Multiple cell phone numbers and computers were forensically analyzed. There are approximately 300 witnesses and approximately 5000 pages of documents that are involved in the prosecution's case. The investigation was conducted in Michigan and in Iowa, Illinois, Florida, Kentucky, Oregon and Texas.
There were 15 agencies that contributed to the investigation of the case: the Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Department, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office Criminal Investigation Division, the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the U.S. Secret Service, the Grosse Pointe City Public Safety Department, the Livonia Police Department, Michigan Department of Corrections, the Roseville Police Department, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Kentucky State Police - Lexington, Cook County District Attorney's Office and the Chicago Police Department.