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— Jury deliberations in the murder-for-hire trial of Grosse Pointe businessman Robert Bashara were halted Monday because the defendant had an undisclosed illness and was hospitalized.

Bashara is accused of hiring his handyman Joseph Gentz to kill his wife Jane Bashara on Jan. 24, 2012. Among the charges are first-degree murder. After the trial, which lasted 10 weeks and had 74 witnesses, the jury of nine men and three women began deliberating Thursday.

After Bashara’s attorneys found out about his illness Monday, Wayne County Circuit Judge Vonda Evans sent the jury home, because she said the defendant must be present before any of the jurors’ questions could be answered. Because of his illness, deliberations will not take place Tuesday.

ghunter@detroitnews.com

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