Joe Gentz, the mentally challenged handyman who told authorities he killed Jane Bashara at the behest of her husband Bob, is competent to stand trial, the Detroit Free Press reported. That could mean bigger trouble for big Bob.
Reporter Swickard of the Free Press reported that a court-sanction independent evaluation came to that conclusion, opening the gate for Gentz to crack a deal with authorities in lieu of going to trial. He cited Gentz's attorney Susan Reed.
The competency ruling will not only help Gentz potentially land a plea, but give the prosecution more ammunition if it decides to charge Bashara and have Gentz testify against him.
“It was an issue that had to be put to rest,” attorney Reed told the Freep. “That had to be answered before you can legitimately and legally start negotiations.”
Bashara’s lawyer David Griem wasn't surprised.
Bashara has not been charged in his wife's murder, but he is in the county jail, facing charges that he hired a hitman to kill Gentz in jail. -- A.L.