Jane Bashara’s sister, Julie Engelbrecht Rowe, stated that her family feels strongly that even though Gentz admitted to the killing and pled guilty to second-degree murder, that it is not the end of the case.
“Mr. Gentz had no motive to murder our sister Jane,” Rowe said at the sentencing. “We believe his statement that he was coerced into murdering her.
Gentz has told police and prosecutors that Bob Bashara, Jane Bashara’s husband, offered him money and a vehicle to kill his wife and threatened him if he didn’t go through with it--a claim Bob Bashara denies.
Engelbrecht Rowe told the court that her sister’s death left an open wound in her family that will never heal.
“Our healing will begin when the whole truth is known and all who were involved are held accountable,” she said.
Bob Bashara was named a person of interest by police in his wife’s death, but he has never been charged. He is serving a 6 ½-20 year prison sentence after he pled guilty to trying to hire a hit man to kill Gentz in jail. Bashara never explained why he wanted Gentz dead, but prosecutors say it was to prevent Gentz from testifying.
“Bob Bashara has maintained, and continues to maintain, that he had nothing to do with the death of his wife,” his attorney, Mark Kriger, told the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday.
Judge Evans told Gentz he knew “right from wrong and good from bad” and told him he wanted to obey the request of his master.
“You decided to be an obedient servant and carry out the cowardly task of taking the life of a woman who did not deserve to die,” Evans said.
The judge indicated she would have liked to have sentenced Gentz to serve more time in prison, but she followed the sentencing agreement reached between prosecutors and Gent’s attorney Susan Reed.
“As she pleaded and begged and struggled for her life, did you ever think that this was wrong?” Evans said. “As she fought for her life, did you ever think to spare her from death? No.”
According to Reed there is a provision in the sentencing agreement that Gentz must be truthful in any upcoming testimony or he will lose it.
Reed said Gentz is remorseful and is “ready to do whatever is necessary to see that everything comes to light. That everybody knows the whole truth of this.”
Jane Bashara, 56, was reported missing from her Grosse Pointe Park home on January 24, 2012, she was found dead in her SUV in an east side Detroit alley the next morning. She had been beaten about the upper body and strangled.