Bashara back in court, asks for laptop in jail cell - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Bashara back in court, asks for laptop in jail cell to review legal documents

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Robert "Bob" Bashara in court Dec. 10, 2013 Robert "Bob" Bashara in court Dec. 10, 2013
(WJBK) -

Robert "Bob" Bashara appeared Tuesday in Wayne County Circuit Court. He came to court asking the judge for a special request.

Bashara told Judge Vonda Evans he has "distorted vision" and using a computer to enlarge the type "would be most helpful" while reviewing legal documents.

Bashara awaits a first-degree murder trial, charged in the strangulation of his wife, Jane. She was killed at the couple's Grosse Pointe Park home in January 2012. Her body was found in her abandoned car in Detroit.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to hear more from Bashara and lawyers in court in a report from Fox 2's Amy Lange, or read the story below

Evans says she'll consult the jail and reconsider the issue Jan. 9.

"How you doing Mr. Bashara?"
"Your honor, good morning to you."
"Thank you."
"Happy holidays."
"Thank you so much."

Polite - appearing in court in his prison garb in front of Judge Vonda Evans. Technically Bob Bashara is staying at the Wayne County Jail until he goes on trial for murdering his wife, Jane, in March. And while he's here his attorney says he needs a laptop to review the thousands of pages of evidence in the case against him.

"Judge, there is more discovery in this case than I've had in any other case," Mark Procida, Bashara's attorney, said in court.
"And you've been practicing, what? Vonda cuts in.
"27 years."
"So you just started not too long ago..."

A little joke but a serious issue. Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey arguing Bob Bashara is the last person who should have access to a computer.

"The people would strenuously and vehemently object due to the issues of witness intimidation and obstruction of justice and Mr. Bashara already pleading guilty to have trying to contract a hit on somebody. I think it would be beyond fool hearted to allow this man to have unfettered access to a laptop," she said.

But Bashara's attorney says there would be no Internet access. Bashara told the judge his diabetes has damaged his vision and reviewing documents on a computer might allow him to enlarge the font and read the pages.

"I have to weigh in here, your honor, because there's a piece of this puzzle you're missing. I have macular degeneration and it's very difficult for me to read pieces of paper without my glasses," Bashara said.

The judge taking all of this under consideration.

"I do not want to give the appearance of giving Mr. Bashara any other rights or privileges that any one else would have," Evans says. "The reality is this is not the typical run of the mill case."

Judge Vonda Evans adamant that this case needs to get moving. She ordered that Bob Bashara have copies of the transcripts from his preliminary exam by Dec. 17. As for the question of the laptop, she says they'll take that up on Jan. 9, after the holidays.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report

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