Joe Gentz Found Competent to Stand Trial in Jane Bashara Murder Case
The handyman charged in the January strangulation death of Grosse Pointe Park resident Jane E. Bashara will undergo a second competency evaluation by an independent doctor at the request of his attorney.
The handyman who worked for Bob Bashara has been found competent to stand trial in the murder and conspiracy charges related to the strangulation death of Jane E. Bashara—a beloved member of the Grosse Pointe Park community, mother and avid volunteer.
Wayne County Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey announced the results of the evaluation Monday in 36th District Court during a brief hearing before Chief Judge Kenneth J. King.
His court-appointed attorney, Susan Reed, requested Monday that Gentz undergo a second competency evaluation by an independent doctor. She told the judge she had a doctor in mind but declined to identify the person until after the court order is signed.
The attorneys did not go into detail about the results of the first competency evaluation, but Lindsey said the results show he understands the charges against him as well his environment and the case.
Lindsey told the judge she was fine with Gentz being evaluated a second time. She explained to the judge that Gentz's attorney—Reed—is more comfortable with having the second evaluation before entering into any plea negotiations.
Both attorneys asked the judge to adjourn the competency hearing until after the second evaluation can be completed. King agreed and set a new competency hearing for July 23.
Reed said after Monday's hearing that she wants the second evaluation to make sure her client is indeed competent to stand trial. She said there are "issues there" prompting her request. She declined to provide more detail.
She said Gentz is nervous and worried, which she described as normal considering the charges and circumstances.
"He's doing fairly well," Reed said. "Of course, he's nervous. Of course, he's anxious because he's involved in this type of case."
His appearance in court Monday came two days after a group calling itself Justice 4 Jane launched its public campaign to bring closure to the case. The individual members of the group do not want to reveal their specific identities so the emphasis is on solving Jane Bashara's homicide, according to a press release sent to media.
Those involved are friends, community members of the Pointes and metro Detroit, and victim advocates throughout the country. The campaign includes the sale of yard signs, ribbon-car magnets, wristbands and tree ribbons, with proceeds to benefit Jane Bashara's favorite charities.
The yard signs have already started popping up in and around the Pointes, including on Middlesex where she and her husband Bob lived. Bob Bashara, according to the press release, is not involved but her birth family has given their approval of the campaign.
Bob Bashara remains a "person of interest" in his wife's violent death and the conspiracy charge against Gentz outlines that a second person was involved. He was required to provide a handwriting sample for detectives in mid-April.
His former mistress also filed a personal protection order against him in Wayne Circuit Court in late April, explaining that he would not stop contacting her despite her repeated requests.
She outlined several of his attempts to contact her and told the judge in that case she fears for her life as she did not know he was still married when they were in a relationship and learned of it only after Jane Bashara's body was found in the backseat of her SUV in Detroit in early January.