Source: Bashara Offered About $20,000 to Kill Suspected Hitman Joe Gentz in Jail
UPDATE: Bob Bashara was arraigned by video from Wayne County Jail this afternoon. 36th District Court Magistrate Charles Anderson ordered an unusually high $15 million bond of cash or surety and Bashara remains incarcerated.
Bob Bashara, the burly Grosse Pointe Park man, who has become a local household name, allegedly offered a man he knew about $20,000 -- and gave a $2,000 down payment -- to get someone inside the Wayne County Jail to kill Joseph Gentz, the handyman/hitman charged with killing Bashara's wife Jane in January, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the case.
The man Bashara spoke to, who allegedly knew some shady people in the community, subsequently contacted the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office to tell of the offer and agreed to wear a wire, the source said.
On Wednesday morning, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy announced at a press conference that Bashara had been charged with a solicitation of murder, and that he had also met with a second person about allegedly killing Gentz.
Worthy said that Bashara wanted Gentz killed before a competency hearing set for July 23 and got more anxious as the date approached. She declined to discuss specifics about money and provided few details as she stood before a podium surrounded by members of the law enforcement community that were involved in the probe. Some of the agencies included the FBI, Grosse Pointe Park Police and the Detroit Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes ATF, Detroit Police and the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.
Worthy said that Bashara, 54, met the man he thought would carry out the hit between the dates of June 8 and June 25 and paid him some money.
Later in the day, Bashara was arraigned in Detroit's 36th District Court via video from the Wayne County Jail. The magistrate set the unusually high bond of $15 million in cash or surety was set.
During the arraignment, one of Bashara's attorneys, Christina Utley, tried to portray him as a caring family man who was mourning the death of his wife. She said he deserved a reasonable bond.
Conversely, Assistant Wayne County prosecutor Lisa Lindsey set out to paint him as a dangerous monster, who intimidated people. She also said it was possible that Bashara had hoped to put a hit on his ex-mistress Rachel Gillett and another woman. Bashara stood motionless during most of the proceeding, and displayed expressions of disapproval over some the allegations the prosecution made.
The law enforcement who spoke to Deadline Detroit on the condition of anonymity said the wired-up hit man met with Bashara, who offered him a downpayment of $2,000 in cash. Bashara promised to pay the rest after the job was completed. Gentz has told authorities that Bashara hired him to kill his wife.
On Monday night, Grosse Pointe Park Police arrested Bashara at his property on Mack Avenue on a charge of soliciting to kill Gentz in a bizarre case that seems increasingly like a Quentin Tarantino movie.
After the proceeding, David Griem, Bashara's attorney, said: "I think it was a set up."
"Bob is innocent. Bob Bashara is going to get his day in court."
Bashara, who has been linked to S&M den of a property he owns on Mack Avenue, has long been considered a person of interest in the death of his wife, who was found strangled in January inside her SUV on Detroit's east side.
But to date, he has not been charged in the murder.