Joe Gentz sentenced 17-28 years in prison for Bashara murder

Published On: Feb 18 2013 09:49:03 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 19 2013 11:43:16 AM EST

DETROIT -

The man who pleaded guilty to killing Grosse Pointe Park mother Jane Bashara has been sentenced to 17- 28 years in prison.

Gentz, who was the Bashara family handyman, took a deal and pleaded guilty to second degree murder for his role in Jane Bashara's death.

At his sentencing Tuesday, he said he was "very sorry" for what had happened and asked for forgiveness.

He maintains that Jane's husband, Bob Bashara, promised to pay him for killing his wife.

Wayne County Judge Vonda Evans told Gentz that despite his "limited mental ability," he knew right from wrong and good from bad.

"You had the power of life and death," she said. "Did you ever think, 'This is wrong?' Did you ever think to spare her?"

Jane Bashara's sister, Julie Rowe, spoke before Gentz's sentencing and said the death had completely "devastated" her family.

"Jane was viciously taken from us," Rowe said. "Her children have been robbed."

She also said her family doesn't think the case closes with Gentz's prison sentence.

"Mr. Gentz had no motive to murder our sister Jane. And we believe his statement that he was coerced into murdering her," Rowe said.

--Julie Rowe

Jan. 25, 2012

Jane’s body was discovered the day after her husband had called police to say she’d gone missing.

Her body was in her Mercedes SUV that was found on Detroit’s east side.

Days later, Grosse Pointe Park police named Bob as a person of interest in his wife’s death -- but he's never been charged in connection with it.

Special Section: Grosse Pointe Park murder case

Bob Bashara tried to kill Gentz

Bashara has been sentenced to 80 to 240 months in prison for trying to hire somebody to kill Gentz in jail.

During his sentencing Bashara said he is "truly and humbly sorry" for hiring a hit man to kill Gentz.

"What I did was inexcusable. I have no one to blame but myself," the Grosse Pointe Park man told the court. "But I understand fully what I did was a crime and something that I will regret for the rest of my life."

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