DETROIT - Prosecutors say a key hearing now underway for a man from an affluent Detroit suburb they say hired a handyman to kill his wife is expected to take about five days.
The preliminary hearing to decide if there's enough evidence to try Robert Bashara for first-degree murder began Monday afternoon.
Witness Patricia Matthews says Jane Bashara complained that her husband flirted with other women, stayed out overnight and stole from her retirement fund in the months before she was strangled.
Jane 's body was found Jan 24, 2012, in her Mercedes-Benz in a Detroit alley, a few miles from the couple's home in Grosse Pointe Park. Joseph Gentz has pleaded guilty to strangling her, saying he did so at her husband's behest.
Bashara already is serving up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to trying to hire someone to kill Gentz in jail. He's denied involvement in his wife's death.
Bashara's alleged secret gun focus on Monday
Bashara's own mother took the stand Monday saying her son handed her a pouch to put inside her safety deposit box after Jane's murder. The pouch had a gun in it but she says she did not find that out until months later.
"I opened it up and I saw a gun," she said.
Bashara's mother and cousin both said they immediately handed the weapon over to his attorney at the time, David Griem. However, detectives didn't learn about the gun until last week.
The gun was locked up in Griem's office for more than a year. He says two legal experts told him to hang onto the weapon.
"This isn't something that comes out in evidence 101 or any law school book," Griem told Local 4. "I safeguarded that gun."
Legal expert Todd Flood says Griem now could be in legal trouble for keeping the weapon.
"He could face an obstruction charge, tampering with a witness," Flood said.
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