(DETROIT) — The Detroit man who is a person of interest in his wife’s killing has been arrested for allegedly trying to kill the man whom he allegedly hired to kill his wife.
In an already confusing case, police have charged Bob Bashara with trying to have his former handyman, Joe Gentz, killed from inside a local jail. Gentz has been behind bars since March and is awaiting trial after confessing to strangling Bashara’s wife, Jane.
“He had no idea why he had been arrested,” David Griem, Bashara’s lawyer, said Monday. “He was shocked when I told him what the charge was going to be. I think he believes this was all part of a setup.”
Jane Bashara, a marketing executive, was found strangled in the backseat of her Mercedes in a Detroit alley on Jan. 25, hours after her husband reported her missing.
Attention quickly turned to Bob Bashara, who repeatedly broke down in tears and denied any involvement in his wife’s death. Gentz told police Bashara offered him money and then forced him at gunpoint to kill his wife in the garage of their home, an accusation he denies.
“I don’t own a firearm,” Bashara told ABC News. “I absolutely had nothing to do with this. That is a sick assessment on his part. It just shows how deranged he is.”
Bashara has said he had nothing to do with his wife’s death and blamed the killing on Gentz, whom he said was angry at Bashara because of a business deal. Gentz turned himself in to authorities shortly after the discovery of Jane’s body.
Bashara failed a police-administered polygraph test, but passed one arranged by his attorney. He has also been accused of having a mistress and was linked to a secret S&M club located beneath his bar.
Jane Bashara’s mother, Lorraine Engelbrecht, filed a police report against her son-in-law in May, stating she was in fear of him because she believed his character changed, according to ABC News affiliate WXYZ-TV. Bashara’s purported mistress, Rachel Gillet, filed a personal protection order, claiming she was afraid for her life as well.
Griem says his client will likely be charged with solicitation to murder a witness and could face life in prison if convicted. Griem calls these latest accusations bewildering.
“It doesn’t happen to me often,” he said, “but I’m speechless.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Lauren Leslie, CNN
Lisa Respers France, CNN
Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
AJ Willingham, CNN