September 26, 2013Detroit — Bob Bashara has been arraigned in Wayne County Circuit Court on first degree murder charges in the January 2012 death of his wife, Jane.
Judge Vonda Evans set a trial date of March 3.
Bashara faces seven charges in all, including first degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, solicitation to commit murder, suborning perjury during a capital trial, witness intimidation, obstruction of justice and a felony firearm charge.
Appearing with his court-appointed attorney, Renee Cooper, Bashara appeared upbeat as Evans asked him how he was.
"I'm blessed, your honor," he responded.
Before setting the date of trial, Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey asked the court to set aside a good deal of time for the trial.
"We anticipate it is going to be a lengthy trial," she said. Those familiar with the case said there are nearly 300 witnesses who could be called, and thousands of documents that need to be reviewed. The trial is expected to last two weeks.
Bashara, who is serving seven to 20 years in prison for attempting to hire a hit man to kill Joe Gentz, has been incarcerated in a Manistee prison. Evans ordered he remain in the Wayne County jail until trial so he can be available to consult with his attorneys.
Gentz has pleaded guilty to killing Jane Bashara the night of Jan. 24, 2012, but said he did so at the behest of Bob Bashara.
He is currently serving 17 to 28 years for second degree murder.