Man who admits to killing Jane Bashara changes his story

Handyman Joe Gentz refutes testimony

Joe Gentz, in his own words, is changing his story again about how he was involved in Jane Bashara's murder.

A sworn affidavit was filed last week. In it, Gentz said the former police chief of Grosse Pointe Park, David Hiller, and the detective who investigated the murder when it happened in January of 2012 allegedly told him to lie. Gentz claims they coached him on what to say when he told them, "I alone did it."

In the affidavit Gentz writes: "That my testimonial statements against Mr. Robert Bashara was the product of coercion and subornation of perjury by Sgt. Reducio and Chief David Hiller."

Gentz said he killed Jane and Bob Bashara was not home at the time of the murder. Here's more of what Gentz wrote in the affidavit (view the affidavit file here):

"I could no longer live knowing Mr. Robert Bashara was completely innocent, and further explained to him that Mr. Robert Bashara was not even in his house when I killed his wife."

Gentz is saying he went to the Bashara home in Grosse Pointe Park angry that Bob hadn't paid him for two recent jobs.

"I knew Mr. Bashara was not in his house. So, I broke into his home, walked into the garage and Mrs. Jane Bashara caught me and I lost control," he writes in the affidavit.

Gentz told all of this to a fellow inmate inside the Macomb Correctional Facility. That inmate relayed Gentz's words to a private investigator who presented it to Bob Bashara's new attorney. The affidavit was signed by Gentz.

Joe Gentz's original story:

Gentz worked as a handyman for Bob Bashara, who owned real estate across the metro Detroit area. His original story was that Bob Bashara hired him to kill Jane. Gentz claimed Bob held a gun to his head as he strangled Jane.

In December, Bob Bashara was found guilty of murdering his wife. He was accused of arranging to have her killed. After nine weeks of testimony with nearly 80 witnesses, a Wayne County Circuit Court jury rendered the following verdicts against Bashara:

  • First-degree murder - guilty
  • Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder - guilty
  • Solicitation to commit murder - guilty
  • Witness intimidation - guilty
  • Obstruction of justice – guilty

He was sentenced to a minimum of 80 months in prison and a maximum of 20 years. The state parole board will determine when to release him.

Bashara is appealing the conviction and fighting for a new trial. He has maintained his innocence.

Could Gentz's new story get Bashara a new trial?