Gentz Arraigned in Bashara Homicide
The man who showed up to share information about the strangulation death of Jane Bashara in the days following the discovery of her body made his first appearance today on formal charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Joe Gentz made his first appearance in 36th District Court Monday afternoon via video-conferencing. He is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the January strangulation death of Jane E. Bashara, a beloved Grosse Pointe Park resident and marketing executive.
Gentz had worked for Jane Bashara's husband, Bob Bashara, who owns a variety of residential and commercial properties. Gentz had done some handyman work for Bob Bashara and the two came to know each other late last year, Bob Bashara's attorney David Griem has told the media.
Gentz, formerly of St. Clair Shores and most recently from Grosse Pointe Park, was arrested Friday afternoon in Macomb County as he showed up for a custody hearing related to his young daughter. Wayne County Sheriff's deputies were ready and waiting for his arrival. His arrest was caught on camera by WDIV Local 4.
The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office obtained a signed warrant on charges Monday only a short time before Gentz's appearance, although he has been in police custody since Friday.
His court-appointed attorney, Susan Reed, said Monday following his arraignment that the conspiracy count certainly suggests that another arrest is likely to follow. She did not have more information about whom the other person is or when an arrest is likely.
Reed declined to answer questions about information Gentz has shared with her about the case and explained one of her concerns is how he is handling his arrest emotionally.
She received discovery in the case during the arraignment Monday and said she had not had a chance to go through it. She held up the file, which is already about as thick as an average text book.
Gentz is due back in court March 16. He was denied bond during the brief hearing and has been ordered to undergo an evaluation of his competency to stand trial.
Meanwhile, Bob Bashara was named as a person of interest in his wife's death and police have searched the couple's home on Middlesex twice with search warrants. Gentz's arrest Friday is likely the result of the return of evidence from the second search performed by Grosse Pointe Park and Michigan State Police.
Bob Bashara's attorney, David Griem, told Patch Friday his client was relieved that an arrest had finally been made not only for himself but more so for the couple's young adult children, Rob and Jessica.
Both charges Gentz is facing are punishable by life in prison.
Patch is attempting to reach Griem for a comment today on the charges filed against Gentz.