Joseph Gentz pleads guilty to murdering Jane Bashara - KMSP-TV

Joseph Gentz pleads guilty to murdering Jane Bashara

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By Amy Lange
Fox 2 News

DETROIT (WJBK) -- Joseph Gentz pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder in the strangulation of Jane Bashara.

The body of the Grosse Pointe Park mother and wife was discovered in her Mercedes SUV, which was abandoned in an alley on Detroit's east side back in January.

Gentz told the judge Jane's husband, Bob Bashara, made him do it.

"I killed Jane Bashara because Bob Bashara promised me money and threatened to kill me."

"He's been telling the truth all along.  Unfortunately when he first went in and said Bob Bashara threatened to kill me, no one believed him.  They thought he was exaggerating," said attorney Susan Reed.

However, Bashara was just sentenced a couple of weeks ago to a minimum of six years and eight months to a maximum of 20 years in prison after he pled guilty to trying to hire a hit man to kill Gentz while he was in jail.

"He tries to get what he wants.  He tried to get someone to kill Mr. Gentz, and he, according to my client's statement, tried to get someone to kill his wife.  He's used to using people that way, and unfortunately my client was the person that he choose," Reed said.

Her client a handyman for Bashara, a man with a diminished mental capacity.

"I think that's why he was picked because he could be manipulated and taken advantage of," Reed remarked.

She said her client is remorseful.

"Because of the situation he was placed in by Bob Bashara, the threats on his life and everything, he regrets and is sorry for all of his actions," Reed explained.

He is willing to pay for those actions.  In exchange for his testimony at future hearings, he will spend 17 to 28 years behind bars.

"He thinks it's the right thing to do," Reed said.  "He has to pay for what he did, and he thinks that everyone involved should pay for what they did in this case."

"Everyone needs to be held accountable for their actions, and from his statement here today, Bob Bashara needs to be held accountable for his actions."

Sentencing for Gentz is scheduled for January 29.

As for Bob Bashara, right now the prosecutor's office says this case is still under investigation.  No new charges are expected at this time.

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