DETROIT (CBS Detroit) From a murder that shocked tony Grosse Pointe to the death of a hapless baby girl and a bloody family attack that left a suburban father dead and a community mourning — there was a plethora of grisly crime in metro Detroit in 2012.Here’s a rundown of the most horrific acts of violence we saw.
Bianca Jones Case
Father D’Andre Lane told police his toddler was in the back of his car when it was carjacked in Detroit, calling police at 9:45 a.m. December 2, 2011, and saying the assailants had driven off with his daughter. The car was found an hour later with an empty car seat inside.
Cadaver dogs allegedly sniffed out human decomposition in the seat, and in Lane’s home, though there was no blood or DNA evidence tied to the death. Lane said it was just an old house and used car seat.
But that didn’t sway a jury of his peers, who convicted him in October of killing his baby girl and somehow disposing of her body.
“I understand this is what you all want to see, you need somebody to take the fall, take the blame,” Lane said in open court after his conviction, calling the judge a “liar.”
Bianca’s mother Banica Jones continues to believes her baby is alive, and supports Lane’s innocence. “I absolutely believe that it (race) played a factor in this,” Jones said. “There was even a point in the trial where the prosecutor pointed at Mr. Lane and myself and said, ‘Look at these people, and look what kind of people these people are.’”
It started as the startling discovery January 25 of a Grosse Pointe executive’s slain body found inside her own Mercedes Benz parked in a back alley in Detroit. And then it got weird.
The investigation into Jane Bashara’s death had barely begun when handyman Joe Gentz came forward saying he had been hired by Bashara’s husband Bob Bashara to kill her. Gentz said Bashara threatened his own life if he didn’t carry out the grisly crime.
Then talk turned to a sex dungeon Bob Bashara had allegedly operated in tony Grosse Pointe for years, offering S&M parties and free spankings in the place where he was known as “Master Bob.” Bashara protested that he was a faithful husband and devoted father, then a girlfriend came forward, and news broke of another, a “submissive” in the mix. Members of his family turned against him.
In the end, investigators nabbed Bashara trying to hire a hit man to kill Gentz. Bashara was sentenced December 10 to 80 months to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to hiring a hit man to kill Gentz.
Meanwhile, Bashara has not been charged in connection with his wife’s death.
Gentz is facing murder and conspiracy charges.
WWJ Legal Analyst and Talkradio 1270 host Charlie Langton predicts that Bob Bashara will be back in court when Gentz goes to trial in that case.
Police and prosecutors allege that James Brown of Sterling Heights used the website backpage.com not to find women to date — but to find women to kill.Brown is accused of murdering four women he met on the website, locking their bodies in the trunks of their own cars, and then abandoning the cars on the streets of Detroit.Brown was charged in November with the murders of Demesha Hunt, Renesha Landers, Natasha Curtis, and Vernithea McCrary. Brown faces four counts of first degree murder, a life felony, four counts of disinterment and mutilation of a dead body, a 10-year felony, one count of arson of real property, a 10-year felony, and one count of arson of personal property, a five-year felony.
Hamtramck Women Kidnapped, Killed
Abreeya Brown, 18, and Ashley Conaway, 22, were forced into a car trunk at gunpoint on Feb. 28 after being abducted from their home on Andrus Street in Hamtramck. Their bodies were found almost a month later in shallow graves in a wooded area near 6 Mile Road and Telegraph in Detroit.
A Wayne County Medical Examiner testified that the women were bound with duct tape and shot in the head at close-range.
Authorities say the women may have been targeted for telling police about a shooting prior to their abduction.
Reginald Brown, his cousin Jeremy Brown, Brandon Cain and Brian Lee were convicted of the crime.
Grandma Kills Grandson While He Begs 911 For Help
Slight of stature and mild mannered, retired teacher Sandra Layne, 74, is in jail on an open murder charge for killing 17-year-old grandson Jonathan Hoffman in May.
What happened? It’s still not clear.
What is clear that Layne, who allegedly feared the grandson she was raising, riddled his body with bullets during a domestic dispute. Shots can be heard on the 911 tape where Hoffman begs emergency personnel to get there, screaming that his grandma was still shooting at him. The teen was unarmed.
Police said Layne had recently purchased her 40 caliber semi-automatic handgun for protection.
Her attorney Jeroma Sabbota alleged Hoffman was on drugs and said his client was afraid and felt she had no other choice but to fire the handgun that took the teen’s life. He also said drugs were found in the home.
Layne awaits trial.
A small girl let police into her home that had become a scene of horror in the night.
On April 16, her brother Tucker Cipriano and pal Mitchell Young allegedly broke into the family home, looking for drug money and violence, and savagely beat every member of the family with baseball bats.
Father Bob Cipriano, 52, died from his wounds, son Salvatore Cipriano, 17, and mother Rose were critically injured; while Isabella, 8, was unscathed and a remaining son, Tanner, 17, hid out the attack under a desk.
The first day of testimony in the Cipriano preliminary examination painted a picture of cold-blooded brutality.
Ian Zinderman, 20, friend of accused killers Tucker Cipriano, 19, and Mitchell Young, 20 — testified the pair planned to kill a family for weeks before the crime, actually debating between the Ciprianos and another local family before deciding the Ciprianos “had more wealth.”
Zinderman testifying that Tucker Cipriano told Young during planning sessions he would have to kill his sister. Cipriano couldn’t do it himself because he “loved his sister,” Zinderman said.
“They decided on going to the Cipriano house and killing the family … I heard one of them, I don’t remember who said it … They were talking about how, which family members should be taken care of, who would take of which family member,” Zinderman said.
Cipriano allegedly said he would kill his brothers while Young killed the mother and father and his sister. “They discussed that the father was going to go first, he was bigger,” Zinderman said, adding that they planned to weigh down the bodies and throw them in the Detroit River.
Zinderman said he told them he wanted no part of the crime, and insisted that they drop him off at a friend’s house. Young and Cipriano allegedly returned on their own, and that’s when the carnage happened.
Rose Cipriano was released from the hospital and into a rehab center June 19. She got a standing ovation this fall at the halftime of Tanner Cipriano’s homecoming football game.
Her son and Young await trial on first-degree murder and other charges.