Joe Gentz lays out case against Bob Bashara

Judge to Jane Bashara's killer: 'This isn't a game'

DETROIT – The man serving time for the murder of Jane Bashara was due back in court Thursday afternoon and took the stand after advisement that he could face further charges by testifying. 

Joe Gentz made a shocking claim that Bob Bashara had nothing to do with the murder of his wife Jane in 2012. He also said police coached him on what to say in court. 

Gentz's plea deal could be taken back by prosecutors if he does testify and he could open himself to new charges such as conspiracy.

Gentz told Judge Vonda Evans he wished to testify after his attorney spoke with him twice over the past week and advised him of the possible consequences of perjury.

"This isn't a game," Evans told Gentz. "I have no control over what the prosecutor's office can do."

Gentz spoke with his attorney and his brother about the implications of testifying.

On the stand, Gentz talked in great detail about the affidavit he signed that was written by Carlo Vartinelli at the Macomb County Jail. Gentz called the document garbage.

Gentz discussed the day Jane Bashara was killed and said that Bob Bashara pulled a gun on him and told him to "shut her up." Gentz said he was promised $8,000 and a Cadillac for the murder, but later said it was $10,000. He admitted to breaking Jane Bashara's neck and said Bob Bashara was present during the murder.

Bob Bashara is trying to have his first-degree murder conviction and life sentence thrown out, saying his rights were violated by an ineffective defense.

Bob Bashara's attorneys filed a motion last month asking that Gentz be brought in from prison to offer up new testimony.

Evans said she could grant of deny a new trial for Bob Bashara after hearing Gentz's testimony.

Jane Bashara was found dead inside her Mercedes-Benz, which was ditched in a Detroit alley just miles from the couple's home in Grosse Pointe Park. She had been strangled.

Gentz's testimony will be transcribed and provided to the attorneys. Court will resume May 10.


About the Authors:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.