Bob Bashara, Mich. man accused of hiring handyman to kill wife, charged with first-degree murder

Bob Bashara booking photo
Booking photo/CBS Detroit
Bob Bashara
CBS Detroit

(CBS/AP) DETROIT - Bob Bashara, a Michigan man who admitted he plotted to murder a handyman charged with killing Bashara's wife, was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday.

Authorities said 56-year-old Jane Bashara, a marketing executive, was strangled to death at her Grosse Pointe Park home in January 2012. Her body was found in her Mercedes-Benz, miles from home in a Detroit neighborhood

A handyman, Joseph Gentz, is serving a 17-year prison sentence after admitting he killed Jane Bashara. But he said he acted on the threats and orders of her husband, Bob Bashara, 55.

"Bob Bashara offered me money to kill his wife," Gentz told a judge in December 2012 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. "He threatened he would kill me if I didn't kill his wife."

Bashara was charged with murder, conspiracy and other charges. He is currently n prison in northern Michigan, serving a minimum sentence of 6.5 years for trying to have Gentz killed in the county jail last year.

Bashara quickly was identified by police as a person of interest, although he repeatedly denied any role in his wife's death. He attended a candlelight vigil in honor of Jane Bashara and told reporters last year that the killing was an "unconceivable tragedy."

"I am confident this concludes our investigation," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in announcing the charges.

Complete coverage of Bob Bashara on Crimesider