DETROIT — A lawyer for a suburban Detroit man police call a "person of interest" in his wife's strangulation said Friday he expects an acquaintance of his client will be charged in the killing.
David Griem told reporters during a 90-minute news conference in Detroit that he hopes the man's shifting accounts of events ultimately help end suspicion surrounding his client, Bob Bashara, who did not attend.
"If they've got the right guy, then justice will be served and it will be good for everyone," Griem said.
Jane Bashara's body was found Jan. 25 in the rear seat of her luxury Mercedes-Benz sport-utility vehicle in a Detroit alley, about six miles from the couple's home in affluent Grosse Pointe Park. Bob Bashara, 54, had reported his 56-year-old wife missing the night before.
No charges had been filed as of Friday afternoon. Police officials declined comment, as they have since Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Director David Hiller last week called Bashara a "person of interest." Hiller said then Bashara has cooperated with the investigation, but he hasn't said whether authorities still consider him a person of interest.
Griem said the acquaintance, who performed manual labor at several commercial and residential properties owned by Bashara, has told several different versions of what happened but has implicated himself in the killing. Griem disputes the man's reported statements to police that he was paid to help kill Jane Bashara. He said his client calls any comments linking him to his wife's murder "untrue."
Bashara submitted the man's name to police along with two others investigators should contact, Griem said.
Based on a privately administered lie detector test as well his conversations with Bob Bashara, Griem said he believes "Bob did not kill his wife. Bob did not have anything to do with his wife's death." He said he arranged for the polygraph after news leaked to the media that Bashara failed a police-administered test.
Griem said Bashara and his acquaintance being questioned by police were in a "dispute over several different construction jobs." He said Bashara owed the other man around $2,000 for manual work he had done at Bashara's properties, and wrote a check for "a couple hundred dollars" to the acquaintance a day before Bashara's death.
If Bashara is charged, the check will be "exhibit No. 1 for the defense," not for the prosecution, his attorney said.
"Who would pay somebody a day before the dirty deed is done with a personal check?" Griem asked.
Griem said he doesn't know if his client was having financial problems. Likewise, he said there was "no outward evidence" of marital problems between the Basharas, he said.