The jury found Bob Bashara guilty of first-degree murder in the arrangement of his wife, Jane's, death. Authorities say Jane was beaten and strangled. Her body was found in a car in a Detroit alley.
Bashara is accused of forcing a handyman, Joe Gentz, to strangle Jane at the couple's Grosse Pointe Park home in 2012. Prosecutors say Bob wanted to get rid of his wife and focus on bondage and masochism with other women, especially a longtime mistress.
After listening to more than 70 witnesses in a trial that lasted eight weeks, the jury began deliberating last Friday. Deliberations were temporarily halted this week as Bob Bashara had been hospitalized with an undisclosed medical condition. The jury returned to deliberate Thursday morning and returned with a verdict later that afternoon.
Judge Vonda Evans read the verdicts on the following counts:
Count 1 - Guilty Conspiracy to Commit Homicide, Murder First-Degree Premeditated
Count 2 - Guilty Solicitation of a Homicide/Murder
Count 3 - Guilty Homicide Murder First-Degree Premeditated
Count 4 - Guilty Obstruction of Justice
Count 5 - Guilty Witness Intimidation
Judge Evans previously dismissed a sixth count of Suborning of Perjury During a Capital Trial.
Bob can be seen shaking his head on video after the verdict was read.
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Judge Evans set a sentencing date of January 15, 2015 for Bashara. He was in prison during the trial for trying to have handyman Gentz killed in jail in 2012. Gentz didn't testify during the trial.Evans praised the work of the prosecution, defense and the jury.
She also thanked the jury for the amount of time they had invested in the trial.
"I'm almost at a loss for words to say how much we appreciate what you've done," she said. "It's been a long process. You took your deliberations seriously. This system is the best in the world and you've demonstrated that.
Evans also mentioned the skillful work by the attorneys, calling it "legal maneuvering at its best."
"I compare it to something you would see at Wimbledon," she said.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy released a statement about the decision:
"We applaud the jury's time, attention, and patience during this very lengthy trial. We are extremely pleased with this verdict and hope that it gives the family of Jane Bashara some respite. This three-year investigation and prosecution would not have been possible without the extreme dedication of the Wayne County Assistant Prosecutors, Investigators, and Staff; the Federal and State agencies and the Detroit and Grosse Pointe Park Police Departments. May Jane now truly rest in peace."
FOX 2's Amy Lange has live blogged from the courtroom every day of the trial.
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