The attorney for Bob Bashara, the husband of murdered Michigan mom Jane Bashara, said today he believes an ex-employee of Bob's murdered Jane out of anger and vengeance, and said he expected his client would not be charged.
David Griem told reporters during an hour-and-a-half news conference today that he was convinced his client Bob Bashara played no role in the strangling death of Jane Bashara on Jan. 25, when she was found left for dead in her Mercedes SUV near Detroit.
Instead, he believes Joseph Gentz, who had told police he was hired by Bob to murder Jane, was solely responsible for her death. Acknowledging that Bashara owed Gentz a debt of about $2,000, he theorized that Gentz could have shown up at the Bashara home, where he had been before, to collect the money.
"A dispute arose over billing demands made on Bob Bashara by Joe. Discussions got heated in the past month," Griem said. "My scenario is Jane pulls into her driveway, Joe walks up demanding money, and an argument ensues."
Griem said he imagined Gentz could have surprised Jane in the garage, prompting her to yell at him "to get the hell out of here" and, in response, Gentz could have killed her in a fit of rage.
"From what we've been told [about the] cause of Jane's death, it would seem that would be the type of thing that could happen between two people," he said.
Griem said he believed Gentz would be charged by Grosse Pointe Park police today, since the police would otherwise be required to release Gentz after his 72-hour holding period expired.
Gentz walked into the Grosse Point Park police station earlier this week to confess his role in the murder, which he said was a murder-for-hire scheme in which he was the appointed hit man. According to Griem, police had obtained a check written by Bob Bashara to Gentz the day before Jane's death.
"If there's a trial, that's going to be exhibit one for the defense," Griem said today. "Who would ever consider hiring a hit man with a check signed by that individual?"
Amid questions about Bob Bashara's whereabouts the night of his wife's death, Griem said that neither he nor Bashara could adequately account for all of the time leading up to Jane's death. He acknowledged that Bob Bashara and Gentz had contact Monday, and was unsure whether they were in contact Tuesday.
He did say, however, that he thought he could prove enough of Bashara's timeline to discredit the notion that Bashara participated in Jane's death.
"Can we account for enough time that would have made it impossible to participate in a terrible tragedy? I think we have," he said.
Griem explained that a privately administered polygraph test was given to Bashara by a professional hired by Griem to counter the public's notion of a failed polygraph test done by police.
Earlier today, Griem brushed off reports of Bob Bashara's extramarital affair and interest in S&M as irrelevant to the case, telling ABC News that Bashara's lifestyle would not determine whether he was innocent or guilty.
"Whether or not Bob has an alternative lifestyle, that doesn't make him a criminal. That doesn't make him a wife killer. What it does, it makes it very difficult for us to get a fair trial if he's charged," Griem said.
At the news conference, Griem expressed some apprehension that if his client were to be charged, a potential jury pool would be tainted by stories of an abnormal sex life.
"My concern is, there is a segment of population in this country that if you're not living the type of life they are, if you're not as pure as they are, you're a bad person. That scares the crap out of me, because I can't bring that out in jury selection," he said.
The comments were in response to a Detroit dominatrix named Lady Geanna, who told WXYZ-TV that Bashara hosted S&M sex parties in a basement below a bar he owned, the Hard Luck Lounge.
"Several of my clients or slaves have called me today. Since this has come out I've had like over 20 phone calls. They are all people who have been to his parties and asked if I was involved with them," she said.
The clients are apparently worried their identities could be revealed.
"Some of them were worried there might have been hidden cameras, things like that," she said.
Geanna claims Bashara was a "master," meaning he would take charge during S&M sessions. The local dominatrix said Bashara reached out to her after seeing her ads in a local paper.
Bashara also allegedly had a mistress, a 50-year-old woman named Rachel, who has spoken to police about her involvement with Bashara. Jane Bashara reportedly found out about the affair weeks before her death.
A woman that lived above Rachel in the Detroit suburb told ABC News that she didn't know Bashara had a wife, he was so often seen with Rachel.
"I thought they were friends at first because he did things for her. He used to take her elderly dog for a walk during the day," she said.
Griem said his client would meet with the press sometime soon, and reiterated that he did not anticipate his client getting arrested in the near future.