DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A metro Detroit man charged with murder in the strangulation of his 56-year-old wife called her “wonderful” at a pretrial hearing in the case.

Bob Bashara, 55, made the comment Thursday in Wayne County Circuit Court.

He thanked Judge Vonda Evans for recognizing the two-year anniversary of his wife’s death before he was escorted out of the courtroom. “And I just want to say that … please, everyone, don’t forget her.”

Bob Bashara is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jane Bashara, who was beaten and strangled at the couple’s Grosse Pointe Park home in January 2012. Her body was later found in her Mercedes-Benz SUV, which was abandoned in a Detroit alley.

The attorney assigned to the case has been given until mid-February to get his defense team together.

Attorney Mark Procida and Bob Bashara were in court to discuss the question of whether a new attorney should be appointed to the case.

Judge Vonda Evans explained what she’ll decide next month:

“I’m gonna’ to come back February 18th,” Judge Evans said. “I’m going to ultimately make a decision if you can expand this team, because you’ve indicated you’re happy with them. I just think there could be more resources expended.”

Lisa Lindsey reminded the judge that if someone new comes in to replace the public defender’s office, it will take them six-to-nine months to get up to speed.

Prosecutors claim Bashara — who led a secret life in S&M clubs as “Master Bob” — had his wife killed so he could carry on with another woman or two.  He’s repeatedly has denied any role in his wife’s slaying.

Handyman Joe Gentz, who is in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in Jane Bashara’s death, has said Bob Bashara threatened to kill him unless he followed orders and killed her.

Bob Bashara pleaded guilty last year to trying to have Gentz killed in jail, and is currently serving time in that case.

The trial for his wife’s death is scheduled to begin March 3.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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