Handyman in Jane Bashara murder case says he wants to testify

Joe Gentz serving prison sentence after taking plea deal in case

By Halston Herrera - Digital news editor

DETROIT - A handyman who originally said he killed Jane Bashara at her husband's behest is willing to testify as part of Bob Bashara's quest to get a new trial.

The handyman, Joe Gentz, changed his original story about Jane Bashara's 2012 slaying in an affidavit that he made earlier this year in prison. In the affidavit, Gentz said Bob Bashara didn't have anything to do with his wife's death. Gentz is serving a 17-to 28-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in a plea deal.

Judge Vonda Evans said that if Gentz testifies, he could open himself up to charges -- such as perjury. She said he had a "monumental" decision to make, and that she wants him to review video of his previous testimony.

"This is a big step, and I want you to be fully advised," Evans said.

The hearing will resume on April 21.

Read: Gentz phone calls could signal change in Bashara case

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.

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.

Bob Bashara






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