Competency hearing scheduled for Bashara handyman/murder suspect

By: K. Michelle Moran | C&G Newspapers | Published June 11, 2012


This afternoon, a judge will decide whether Joseph John Gentz, 48, of Grosse Pointe Park is competent to stand trial in the Jan. 24 murder of Grosse Pointe Park marketing executive and mother Jane Bashara, 56.

A competency hearing for Gentz is slated to take place at 1:30 p.m. June 11 in front of 36th District Court Judge Kenneth King, according to a spokesperson from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. Gentz is a handyman who worked for Jane Bashara’s husband, property manager/businessman Bob Bashara. Gentz allegedly told police that he murdered Jane Bashara at Bob Bashara’s behest, although some reports indicate that his account of the murder has varied; in at least one version, Gentz is said to have told police that Bob Bashara ordered him to kill Jane Bashara while holding a gun on Gentz.

Although police named him a “person of interest” early in the case, Bob Bashara had not been charged with anything as of press time.

Gentz was arraigned March 5 on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the case, which has attracted national media attention. His competency hearing was originally scheduled for May 4, but Gentz’s court-appointed attorney, Susan Reed, sought and received an extension to finish needed exams and collect documents for the hearing.