July 18, 2013We won’t be taking a plea. We plan to go to trial.”
That was the pronouncement of attorney Mark Procida, who is the public defender now representing Bob Bashara on first degree murder charges in the death of his wife, Jane.
Procida was in Wayne County Circuit Court July 10, representing Bashara at a hearing on evidence subpoenaed by prosecutors in March. The evidence in question, three computers, belong to a woman who was identified as a witness in the case of the 2012 murder of Jane Bashara.
Judge Timothy Kenny ruled the computers be returned to the woman, who lives out of state. Both sides in the case had been making copies of the hard drives and the computers were in the possession of Bashara’s legal team. Procida assured the court he would have the computers returned to the woman’s attorney by 4 p.m. Friday, July 12.
In addition to a first degree murder charge, Bashara also faces several other charges, including conspiracy to commit murder, obstruction of justice and witness intimidation.
Bashara made a brief appearance at the hearing in front of Kenny via video conference. He is currently incarcerated in the Oaks Correctional Facility in Manistee, where he is serving seven to 20 years for attempting to hire a hit man to kill Joe Gentz. Gentz pleaded guilty to killing Jane Bashara, but said he did so at the behest of Bob Bashara.
Procida was appointed by the court to represent Bashara on the murder charges, after Bashara told the court he had no money to hire an attorney.
While acknowledging the preliminary examination on the charges will probably occur as scheduled on Sept. 9, Procida said he would not be prepared to go to trial until after the first of the year.
“There are 8,000 documents that need to be reviewed,” he said. “There is no way we could go to trial before the end of this year.”
Procida said he hopes to have Bashara moved closer to Detroit to help prepare for trial.
“I haven’t been able to spend much time with him,” he said, “and it would be easier to prepare if he was closer to Detroit.”
Bashara faced disciplinary action at Oaks for taking and concealing several items from the dining hall, including ketchup packets, jelly, sugar packets and paper napkins. In prison, these items are commonly used for a concoction dubbed “prison wine.”
He has also been cited by prison officials for lying.
Bashara will be back in Wayne County Circuit Court at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 9, for his preliminary examination.