Jury gets case of wife strangled in Detroit suburb

AP News
|
Posted: Dec 11, 2014 5:25 PM
Jury gets case of wife strangled in Detroit suburb

DETROIT (AP) — A jury has the case of a former Rotary Club president charged with arranging his wife's murder while he was having affairs and exploring bondage and masochism with other women in a comfortable Detroit suburb.

Jurors deliberated for a few hours Thursday in a Wayne County court after 1½ days of closing arguments and instructions from the judge. They'll return Friday — Bob Bashara's 57th birthday.

There's no dispute that Bashara was having an affair. Prosecutors say he wanted his wife out of the way so he could pursue a new life with others, who referred to him as "Master Bob."

A handyman, Joe Gentz, admits he strangled Jane Bashara at the couple's Grosse Pointe Park home in 2012. He's in prison for second-degree murder but refused to testify against Bob Bashara.

Prosecutor Rob Moran says there's a "ton of motive" for Bashara to want his wife dead. But defense attorney Michael McCarthy says Bashara could have continued his affairs without having his wife killed.

Another defense attorney, Lillian Diallo, says police targeted Bashara from the start and won't accept that Gentz could have acted on his own. She even made a reference to the highly publicized case of Eric Garner, who said, "I can't breathe," while in a police chokehold in New York.

The prosecutor balked at that.

"The only one who could not breathe in this case was Jane Bashara. ... That's what this case is all about," Moran said.

Bashara is in prison for trying to have Gentz killed in jail in 2012. He's eligible for parole in 2019.