DETROIT (WWJ) – A Wayne County Judge says she will not allow a Grosse Pointe Park man to use his attempt to get his murder conviction thrown out as a chance to testify to what he wishes he would have at trial.
Bob Bashara — who was convicted last year of arranging his wife’s death — wants his life sentence thrown out and he wants a new trial, saying his rights were violated by an ineffective defense.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Civility & Politics?
Under lengthy cross-examination Thursday morning by his new attorney, Bashara, clad in green jail garb, talked about everything from phone calls and phone records, to his dealings with handyman Joe Gentz — who admitted to killing Jane Bashara — to what his wife liked to watch on TV (“Dancing with the Stars”).
Assistant Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey objected multiple times during Bashara’s testimony, questioning its relevance to the matter at hand.
Lindsey pointed out that Bashara knew he’d had a right to testify in his own defense during his trial, and opted not to do so.
“What he would’ve said had he testified is not relevant here because he waived his right,” Lindsey said.
Agreeing with the prosecution, Judge Vonda Evans ruled she won’t let Bashara testify to anything, at this point, other than to what his attorneys supposedly did wrong.
“I wanted to testify because there was so much misinformation, so many lies…” Bashara countered. “They told me if I did I would be convicted; that I absolutely shouldn’t testify…that they had this.”
“I felt I was grossly misled by that,” Bashara said.
Bashara added that he’d trusted Judge Evan’s judgement as to the competence of his court-appointed lawyers. But Evans pointed out that, if he was so dissatisfied with their work, why didn’t he write her a single letter about it during the 10-week trial?
There’s a lot of important information, Bashara’s appellate attorney Ronald Ambrose says, that his client could have testified to that may have changed the outcome of the trial.READ MORE: Panera Fundraising Event To Raise Transplant Funds For Local Young Adult
Before Judge Evans put a stop to the testimony, Bashara and Ambrose seemed to be trying to establish that Jane Bashara likely had a confrontation with Gentz over some unpaid bills that may have led to her murder.
Bashara also tried to establish that multiple phone calls he made to Gentz in the days leading up to his wife’s death were about handiwork Gentz was supposed to have finished — and not a murder plot.
Bashara says he’d wanted multiple witnesses called that his attorneys never called. The testimony of least one of those people, Bashara said, would’ve helped talked about a loving relationship between him and his wife.
Another, he said, would have helped him to establish that Gentz was in fact not “this mild-mannered simpleton that was taken advantage of,” Bashara said, while “in actuality he was a very violent, very angry man.”
Later, Bashara’s alternative sexual lifestyle once again came into play as Judge Evans asked him to clarify why he’d initially told police he did not have an affair with Rachel Gillette.
“I did not consider it to be an affair,” Bashara said. “The absolute basis of that relationship was as a master/slave.”
Bashara said his wife gave him permission to see other women because the couple was unable to have sex due to medical conditions.
Jane Bashara was found strangled in January, 2012 inside her Mercedes-Benz SUV, which had been abandoned a Detroit alley.
Prosecutors said 57-year-old Bob Bashara coerced Gentz into killing her, and paid him for the job.MORE NEWS: This Weekend: I-275 Lane Closures Continue Between 7 Mile Road And I-96/I-696/M-5
Gentz is in prison, convicted of second-degree murder.