Bob Bashara testifies in his bid for new trial

DETROIT - The Grosse Pointe Park man convicted of arranging his wife's death took the stand Thursday as part of his efforts to get a new trial.

Jane Bashara was found dead in 2012 inside her Mercedes-Benz, which was ditched in a Detroit alley just miles from the couple's home in Grosse Pointe Park.

Prosecutors said Bob Bashara coerced handyman Joe Gentz into strangling his wife and abandoning the body. Gentz is in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder.

The 57-year-old Bashara wants his murder conviction in connection with his wife's death, and his life sentence thrown out, saying his rights were violated by an ineffective defense.

On the stand, Bashara said he had nothing to do with his wife's murder.

"I did not. I did not hire, or I did not conspire. I was not in that garage with Mr. Gentz. At all," Bashara said.

Court will resume Friday afternoon with more testimony from Bashara.

As the case unfolded, details of Bob Bashara's interest in the bondage and domination lifestyle surfaced.

Bashara's appellate lawyer, Ronald Ambrose, said Bashara's rights were violated when the jury wasn't given evidence to learn that Jane Bashara didn't care about her husband's lifestyle of bondage and domination -- thus making it moot as a motive for her murder.

Bashara explained that as he and wife got older, they both developed health issues that interfered with their physical relationship.

"We both understood where we were yet. We both had our health issues and we were getting older," Bashara said. "She told me I could do what I wanted to do."

Despite his health issues, Bashara said he was still a "hot blooded" man and started looking into the BDSM lifestyle when he came across a website for it online.

Bashara said his wife knew about his "weird sex" lifestyle and wasn't bothered with it. He said the only request she had was to keep it to himself and not embarrass her or their two children.

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