DetroitAugust 22, 2012
Gentz prelim exam rescheduled for October
By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer
DETROIT — It will be at least several more weeks before Joseph Gentz knows whether he’ll be going on trial for the Jan. 24 murder of Grosse Pointe Park mother and marketing executive Jane Bashara.
A preliminary exam for Gentz, who has been charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the case, had been scheduled for Aug. 13 in front of 36th District Court Chief Judge Kenneth King, but that hearing was adjourned at the request of Gentz’s court-appointed attorney, Susan Reed.
Reed said she asked for the delay because she was still reviewing her client’s files. She declined to comment on where a possible plea deal with prosecutors might stand at this point. In a previous interview, Reed told reporters she had been discussing a plea agreement with Wayne County prosecutors for her client.
Last month, Reed said Gentz’s pretrial hearing might be waived if she and prosecutors could reach a deal before then. At that time, she said she wasn’t sure how long these talks might take, but she was hopeful they might have an agreement soon. As to the terms of such an agreement, “I won’t speculate on the numbers,” said Reed, saying she only hoped to get “the best deal possible” for her client.
Gentz, 48, of Grosse Pointe Park, reportedly told police that he killed Jane Bashara at the behest of her husband, Robert Bashara. Bashara, who has denied any involvement in his wife’s death, is currently being held on a $15 million cash or surety bond in the new Wayne County Jail on a felony charge of solicitation of murder for allegedly paying someone to kill Gentz in jail. Bashara hadn’t been charged, as of press time, in connection with his wife’s murder, but as Reed pointed out previously, the fact that her client has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder suggests that charges against at least one other person are likely.
Gentz remains behind bars at the William Dickerson facility in Hamtramck.
“He’s OK,” Reed said of her client late last week.
At press time, the prosecutor’s office said the preliminary exam would now take place the first week of October, but an exact date and time hadn’t yet been established.
As to pending legal action against Bashara’s former attorney, David Griem, a spokesperson for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said a show-cause hearing against Griem for allegedly violating a protective order regarding discovery materials had been adjourned at Griem’s request from Aug. 15 to Sept. 4. King will hear that motion and another at the same time in 36th District Court, the spokesperson said.
Previously, Griem said he didn’t feel he had violated the protective order by sharing a piece of discovery materials with Bashara’s elderly mother, who was very concerned about her son’s case.
A calendar conference for Bashara — during which attorneys will schedule various court dates — was slated to take place at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 23 in front of Third Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow.
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