54-year-old Detroit-area businessman Robert Bashara was arrested Monday night on solicitation of murder charges for allegedly arranging a hit on Joe Gentz, a man Bashara is suspected of previously hiring to kill his wife, Jane Bashara, 56.
Back in late January, Jane Bashara was found strangled to death in her SUV. There were few leads in the case until, several days after the murder, Joe Gentz, a man the Basharas had employed as a handyman, confessed to the murder. He also told police that Mr. Bashara had paid him around $2,000 and a used Cadillac to do the deed.
Susan Reed, Gentz’s attorney, caught wind of Bashara’s plan to kill her client and said, “I heard the rumors and thought (Bashara) couldn’t be that stupid,” Reed said.
“But apparently he was. He was under surveillance. I don’t know what was in his mind.”
That’s the funniest part. This guy was still a “person of interest” in his wife’s murder, and he’s running around trying to arrange for a hit on someone who’s in custody.
He was also spotted by police going through his girlfriend, 51-year-old Rachel Gillett’s trash, and there’s reason to believe that he might have been looking to murder her as well.
Gillett’s attorney, Doraid Elder, said he asked police to conduct extra patrols around her house because his client feared for her life. She has since moved to an undisclosed city.
Robert Bashara is being held on a $15 million bond. If he is able to come up with the money, he will have to wear a GPS tracking device and surrender his passport and driver’s license.
The reason for the impossibly high bond seems to be his propensity for threatening witnesses, suspected mental instability, and his monetary means for contracting other hits.
“Several witnesses in this case have been contacted by Mr. Bashara … and felt intimidated,” assistant Wayne County prosecutor Lisa Lindsey told Magistrate Charles Anderson on Wednesday afternoon in 36th District Court in Detroit.
Bashara’s attorney maintains his client’s innocence, suggesting that he is being set up by investigators who are frustrated by their inability to pin his wife’s murder on him.