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Bashara Denied Laptop in Jail, May Get New Representation

A Wayne County Circuit Court Judge denied a request by murder suspect Bob Bashara to have a laptop to review case-related documents.

Bob Bashara. (File photo)
Bob Bashara. (File photo)
Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans Thursday denied a request by Bob Bashara to have access to a laptop to review documents related to his first-degree murder trial for the Jan. 2012 murder of his wife, Jane.

He had requested the computer to due to macular degeneration, which made it difficult to read documents on paper.

Prosecutors opposed the request citing reasons including the Internet area of the Wayne County Jail has been cut due budget constraints and the ability of officials to monitor what he was viewing on the computer - which in the past has included BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadomasochism) and contacting witnesses.

Although Evans denied the request at the pre-trial hearing, she stated that arrangements would be made to help Bashara review documents including providing him reading glasses, having larger text in some items and additional visiting hours. 

She also voiced her displeasure at the slow pace of the case, stating that at the current rate the case wouldn't be finished until "2016."

Evans added that she is considering removing the Bashara's current defense team from the case due to the limited number of times his lawyers have met with him, and the length of time it has taken to received court transcripts.

"This is Mr. Bashara's life," he said. 

She added that, "I am not satisfied with the level of preparedness for the defense." 

Evans asked Bashara to provide a list of possible replacement lawyers and other needs. The issues will be discussed at the next court hearing Jan. 23.

Bashara is currently serving a a prison sentence on a second, related case involving his former handyman, Joe Gentz, whom he tried to have killed while in jail to prevent him from testifying. 

In the current case, which he is charged with killing his wife Jane Bashara, he faces charges of: 
  • first degree murder
  • conspiracy to commit first degree murder
  • solicitation to commit murder
  • suborning of perjury during a capital trial
  • witness intimidation
  • obstruction of justice
The case is scheduled for a March 3 for a jury trial.

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