Judge rules no laptop in jail for Bashara

DETROIT (AP) -- A judge overseeing the murder case of a suburban Detroit woman ruled last Thursday that the victim's husband can't have a laptop in jail and questioned the performance of the man's lawyer.

Robert Bashara, 56, said a computer would make it easier to read documents and prepare for trial in the death of his wife Jane Bashara. But prosecutors objected and Wayne County Circuit Judge Vonda Evans turned down the request.

Evans also criticized Bashara's demeanor in court and expressed displeasure about his legal representation.

Jane Bashara of Grosse Pointe Park was strangled two years ago, and her body was found in her Mercedes-Benz in Detroit.

Robert Bashara is accused of coercing a handyman to kill her so he could live a new life with another woman who referred to him as "Master Bob." He regularly met women in a sex dungeon in the basement of a bar. He has denied any role in his wife's death.

During last Thursday's pre-trial hearing, Evans reprimanded Bashara several times for interrupting the proceedings and once for planting his hand on his hip.

"Mr. Bashara, get your hand off your hip," Evans said.

Evans also expressed concern about Bashara's court-appointed lawyer, Mark Procida. In response, Bashara said he had seen Procida once since the last court hearing, which was Dec. 9.

"That's unacceptable," the judge told Procida. "I'm concerned with the lack of preparation. I'm considering removing you from the case. All I hear is excuses, excuses, excuses. This is Mr. Bashara's life.

"I'm not happy. This is a very big case. Either you're going to do this efficiently, or you're not going to do it," Evans said.

Published: Mon, Jan 13, 2014

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