Today Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy has 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 will prosecute 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 Robert Bashara 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 pretrial 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.
Today Bashara has been 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),
- Witness Intimidation (15 Years) and
- Obstruction of Justice (Five years).
The investigation into the death of Jane Bashara has taken 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 are 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.
"This case is one we do not often experience in Grosse Pointe Park. I am grateful to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and to all of the numerous agencies whose assistance was invaluable to this investigation. I also want to thank the members of my Department for all of the hard work they have put into this case. The charging of Robert Bashara means that there will finally be justice for Jane Bashara and her family," said Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Director David Hiller.
"Despite the financial challenges experienced by the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, we have been able to work with our law enforcement partners to bring charges against Robert Bashara for the murder of his wife Jane. This is an extremely labor intensive case that represents hundreds of hours of work by not only my office, but the various law enforcement agencies involved. Quite frankly, if we had sufficient resources, we may have been able to close this case several months ago. I am satisfied that we have a strong case that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt," said Prosecutor Worthy.
Bashara will be transferred from the Michigan Department of Correction to 36th District Court. When his arraignment date has been finalized this information will be released to the press during the week of April 22, 2013.