EXCLUSIVE: Attorney Says ‘Person Of Interest’ In Jane Bashara’s Murder Isn’t Credible
GROSSE POINTE (WWJ) - There are still no criminal charges in the Jane Bashara murder case, but police do have more leads to track down.
WWJ’s Ron Dewey reports that investigators have been talking to a man who turned himself in Tuesday morning — indicating that he had knowledge of the murder.
The man identified in reports as 48-year-old Joseph Gentz of Saint Clair Shores claims he was at the home the night Jane Bashara was strangled to death, although the extent of his involvement not yet clear.
Speaking live on WWJ, defense attorney David Griem, who has been retained by the Bashara family, said Gentz has no credibility. Griem is well-known as the attorney who represented Stephen Grant, the Macomb County man who killed and dismembered his wife on Valentine’s Day a few years ago.
“One thing we haven’t heard is that Bob Bashara gave the police a list, he was requested to give them a list of people who might be of some danger to him and his family. This individual’s name was given to the police on that list. Then, a couple of days later he shows up at the Grosse Pointe Park Police Department,” said Griem.
“Just what he is saying, we don’t know. There have been rumors that he’s told various stories, but I think that there’s little credibility in what he has to say,” he continued.
Former neighbors of Gentz say he was threatening and would harass women at a Saint Clair Shore apartment complex — a sign that Griem thinks is very interesting.
“Every single person who was interviewed indicated that he was a violent person. I saw three women interviewed, neighbors, who said that they had been afraid of him from the day that he moved into their apartment complex. And this seems to be the horse that the police are riding at this time,” said Griem.
Gentz remains in custody, but has not been charged with any crime as an investigation is ongoing.
The body of Jane Bashara, a 56-year-old mother of two from Grosse Pointe Park, was found in the back of her Mercedes-Benz SUV parked in an alley at Pinwood and Arnott in Detroit on Wednesday. Her husband reported her missing the night before.
An autopsy showed that Bashara had extensive bruising to her upper body, a crushed windpipe and missing fingernails.
Investigators said they are starting to believe that Bashara was killed in her home, and that her body was driven to Detroit. But Griem doesn’t think that’s the case.
“I think the possible crime scene was not in the home, it was not in the garage. I believe that possible crime scene was somewhere in the City of Detroit or somewhere between the cities of Grosse Pointe Park and Detroit,” said Griem.
Griem plans to meet with the family again Wednesday and is hoping to meet with police and the prosecutors.
“I’m greatly interested in the events of that evening. I want to sit down with Mr. Bashara and go through that evening, not only hour by hour, but minute by minute,” he said.
Meantime, a longtime family friend is speaking out after he distributed fliers that offered a hefty reward for tips leading to Jane Bashara’s killer. Read more, here.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.
RELATED: Hundreds Say Goodbye To Jane Bashara