DETROIT (WWJ) – Joe Gentz, the handyman who was sentenced to prison for murdering Grosse Pointe Park woman Jane Bashara at the request of her husband, is expected to withdraw his guilty murder plea in court tomorrow.
WWJ’s Charlie Langton reports Gentz will ask Wayne County Judge Vonda Evans to withdraw his plea to second-degree murder and to go to trial.
Gentz was sentenced in February to serve 17 to 28 years in prison.
“I have to say that this is a very unusual legal ploy,” said Langton. “Court rules at least allow Gentz to ask the judge within six months after the sentencing to withdraw his guilty plea. Remember Joe Gentz has had a lot of problems with mental issues – although he was found competent to stand trial by numberous psychiatrists, presumably Joe Gentz will say that he was under duress during the sentencing and the plea.”
There is no known reason for Gentz’s change of plea and Langton says there is no guarantee that the judge will accept and order a trial in the case.
So, what does this mean for Bob Bashara, who was suspected of hiring Gentz to kill his wife and then charged with trying to hire someone to kill Gentz after he told his tale?
“Gentz is expected to be a star witness for the prosecution,” Langton said, adding the defense attorney will now be able to have a field day with Gentz, attacking his credibility.
WWJ will be in court when the motion by Gentz is heard.