Detroit businessman guilty in hit scheme

Oct. 11, 2012 at 4:43 PM

DETROIT, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Robert Bashara, the Detroit-area businessman accused of plotting to kill his former handyman who is accused of killing Bashara's wife, pleaded guilty Thursday.

"In June of 2012, I foolishly and regrettably offered to pay Steve Tibaudo to find someone to kill Joseph Gentz. This took place in Wayne County," Bashara, 54, said reading a statement during a conference before Judge Bruce Morrow.

Morrow set sentencing for Nov. 20, The Detroit News reported.

Prosecutors have called for a sentence of more than 6 1/2 years to 11 years in a plea-bargain agreement for the guilty plea on a solicitation to murder charge.

Tibaudo testified in July Bashara, of Grosse Point Park, Mich., asked him to find someone to kill Gentz when Gentz was held in the William Dickerson Detention Facility in Hamtramck, so he could not testify against Bashara, the News said. Tibaudo wore a wire to secretly record the conversations.

Gentz, a handyman at Bashara's rental properties, confessed to strangling Jane Bashara, 56, in January and is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Jane Bashara's body was found in her abandoned SUV in a Detroit alley Jan. 25. Bashara has not been charged with his wife's killing.

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