Prosecutor: Bob Bashara Paid to Have Gentz Killed
Bob Bashara faces a single charge of solicitation of murder, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Wednesday in a press conference that drew dozens of media outlets to downtown Detroit.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday that Bob Bashara will be arraigned in 36th District Court at 1 p.m. today on a single count of solicitation to murder Joe Gentz before Gentz's next competency hearing.
Grosse Pointe Park police arrested Bashara Monday outside one of his properties on Mack Avenue in the Park and he has remained in the Wayne County Jail since.
Worthy said during the investigation of Jane Bashara's homicide, investigators came to learn that Bashara wanted to have Gentz killed in the Wayne County Jail. He discussed as much with a person whom Worthy declined to identify but said was not a law enforcement official.
Additionally, Bashara "made at least one payment" in exchange for the murder of Gentz, Worthy said. She declined to say whether the conversations and exchange of money were recorded in some manner.
Gentz is charged with first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in Jane Bashara's strangulation death. He has told investigators that he killed her at the direction of Bob Bashara.
Her death gained attention of the national media outlets, who often camped outside their home on Middlesex in the early weeks following her death. She was well-respected in the community and remembered as an avid volunteer. She would have turned 57 last Friday.
If convicted, Bob Bashara faces up to life in prison for the offense. Worthy said Bashara's crime happened between June 8 to 25. She also said Bashara "became more anxious" as the second hearing for Gentz drew closer.
This is close in time to when Gentz had to appear in court for his competency hearing, in which prosecutor's revealed he was found competent to stand trial. He is undergoing a second evaluation per the request of his attorney and is scheduled to return to court July 23.
Precautions to ensure the safety of Gentz have been made by lockup officials, Worthy said, noting this was done as soon as investigators became aware of the potential threat.
The investigation into Jane Bashara's homicide continues, she said, and officials will not rush the process. "We only get one time."
At his arraignment this afternoon, Worthy said the prosecutors handling the case will seek a high amount for the bond.
Worthy declined comment about whether Bob Bashara would be charged in Jane Bashara's death Wednesday, saying again the investigation continues. It was important to take swift action in the solicitation case to protect witnessees, Worthy said, declining to say whether any others were being targeted by Bashara.
During the press conference, Worthy had more than a dozen people standing with her at the podium. She had them introduce themselves. They included representatives from the Wayne County Sheriff's Department, the Detroit Police Department Homicide Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Grosse Pointe Park Director of Public Safety David Hiller, Michigan State Police, others from the Prosecutor's Office and the Detroit Office of the FBI.
Worthy also encouraged anyone with information in Jane Bashara's homicide to call her office's criminal investigation bureau at 313-967-6120.
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