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Gentz sentence will come in March

January 31, 2013
The sentencing hearing for Joseph Gentz, the handyman who pleaded guilty to killing Grosse Pointe Park resident Jane Bashara, has been rescheduled for March 1.

The hearing, originally set for Jan. 29 in Wayne County Circuit Court, was rescheduled by Judge Vonda Evans. No reason was given.

Gentz pleaded guilty Dec. 21, to second-degree murder in the case as part of a plea deal that allowed a second charge he faced, conspiracy to commit murder, to be dismissed. He had originally been charged with first degree murder in the case, as well as conspiracy. Both carried mandatory sentences of life in prison without parole if convicted. Under the plea deal, Gentz will face no less than 17 years in prison and no more than 28.

In pleading guilty, Gentz admitted his role in the murder, but said he killed Jane Bashara at the request of her husband, Bob Bashara.

Jane Basraha was reported missing by her husband the night of Jan. 24, 2012. Her body was found the next morning in the backseat of her SUV that had been abandoned in an alley in Detroit. She had been strangled.

Gentz, who had worked as a handyman for Bob Bashara, admitted to police in February he had killed Jane Bashara. Bob Bashara was named as a person of interest by Grosse Pointe Park police in the case, but has not been charged in the murder of his wife. However, he was arrested in June 2012 for attempting to hire a hit man to kill Gentz. He pleaded guilty to the charge, and is serving six to 17 years at the Oaks Correctional Facility in Manistee.

Police and prosecutors decline to speculate on whether Bashara will ever be charged with the murder of Jane Bashara, but will acknowledge the investigation remains open.

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