A man whose wife was killed by a handyman some 15 months ago, was formally charged last week for his alleged role in the crime. Bob Bashara was charged with first degree murder for allegedly forcing the handyman to carry out the crime. In addition to murder, he was also charged with solicitation to commit murder, conspiracy, and various other crimes. If convicted, he faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.
The handyman, Joseph Gentz, is currently serving a 17 year prison sentence after admitting he killed Jane Bashara. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and agreed to cooperate with authorities, maintaining all the while that he merely acted on the threats and orders of her husband.
“Bob Bashara offered me money to kill his wife,” and that the husband threatened to kill him if he didn’t do it. (A side note for readers, you’ll notice the potential self-defense claim, but while an individual may be absolved for committing other crimes when their life is being threatened (robbery for example), killing another human being is not excusable under a self-defense claim.)
Bashara is currently in jail for his role in attempting to have Gentz killed while he was in county jail last year. His defense attorney stated that Bashara insists on his innocence.
The couple lived in an eastern suburb, and after the body was found in her Mercedes in a Detroit neighborhood, many miles from their home, the death immediately caused speculation that she was victimized by violent strangers.
Violent crimes require immediate and zealous advocacy in order to minimize negative consequences, including jail time. While the prosecution has the burden of proving all of the elements to each crime you are charged with beyond any reasonable doubt, a criminal defense attorney should fight having charges brought in the first place. This includes poking holes in the government’s case and blocking any evidence which was procured improperly.
If you or someone you care about has been accused of a crime in Michigan, you need an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney. At The Law Office of Steven L. Schwartz, we are committed to helping you avoid jail, avoid fines and avoid a criminal record. We handle assault and domestic violence cases, as well as murder, manslaughter and vehicular homicide charges. Attorney Schwartz has over two decades of experience in Michigan’s criminal courts, and can help explain the criminal court proceedings, and give you an honest estimation of the likely outcome regarding your case. Call us today at (248) 266-8720 or contact us through the website in order to schedule your free confidential initial consultation.