Evidence details murder, body buried in basement - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Evidence details murder, body buried in basement

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Joseph Banis being interrogated Joseph Banis being interrogated
Jeffrey Mundt being interrogated Jeffrey Mundt being interrogated
James Carroll's basement grave James Carroll's basement grave

By Bennett Haeberle WDRB-TV Fox 41 News  bhaeberle@fox41.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB-TV Fox 41) -- Details of a love triangle involving sex, drugs and a body buried in a basement have emerged this week as prosecutors submitted evidence in a Louisville murder case.

Two former lovers have been charged with killing another man and burying his body in the basement of their old Louisville home. During a hearing Friday, Circuit Judge Mitch Perry denied a bond reduction for Joseph Banis.

Banis and his former lover, Jeffery Mundt, face several charges in connection with the death of James Carroll. Prosecutors say the two men were involved in a drug-induced sexual encounter with Carroll and then killed him and robbed of his drug money.

The alleged murder happened in late 2009, but police didn't learn of it until June of this year when authorities were called to Mundt's home following a domestic dispute with Banis. 

It was during that time that Banis confessed there was a body buried in his basement.

This week, prosecutors submitted more than five hours of police interviews, as well as crime scene photos taken in the basement of the home on South Fourth Street. Carroll's body was found shot, stabbed and buried in a plastic container.

"Apparently this individual was involved sexually in a relationship," said Louisville Metro Police Detective Barry Wilkerson back in June. "They had made some sort of plan to rob him of narcotics. And during that robbery, that's when the murder was committed and [they] decided to bury body in the basement of their residence."

Now, Fox 41 News has obtained new evidence in connection with the case -- including video of police interrogations of Mundt and Banis.

Prosecutors say the three men were involved in some sort of sexual relationship and plotted to rob Carroll.  In interviews with police, the two suspects point the finger at each other.  On police video, Banis says, "Before I knew it, Jase stabbed Jamie.  There was blood flying, there was a lot of yelling."

But Mundt says under interrogation, "This is not a relationship.  This is him using me to try to do something."  The officer interrogating him says, "Well, I hope that the next part would definitely seal that deal, but he pretty much came in and threw you under the bus.  Mundt replies, "I understand."

Both men are still facing several charges related to the murder of Carroll.  Banis's bond is currently set at $1 million.  His attorney wants a judge to reduce it, arguing he is not a flight risk and could live with his parents.

This isn't the first time the pair have been in trouble with the law.

In April, they were arrested in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency hotel after they were allegedly found with roughly $55,000 in counterfeit money, a suspected date rape drug, several handguns and fake IDs.

Click HERE to see Fox 41's original story on Banis and Mundt.

According to the Chicago Police, 38-year-old Jeffrey Mound (of the 1400 blk. of S. 4th St.) and 38-year-old Joseph Banis (of the 1200 blk.. of Wellington Pl.) were taken into custody on when Mundt allegedly approached the hotel doorman and tried to exchange a fake bill for smaller denominations.

When police arrived, they discovered that Banis was armed with a weapon. Both men were placed into custody.

Upon searching their room, police found the weapons, fake IDs and counterfeit cash. They also found a "clear liquid" in a glass bottle container. Police believe this liquid to be GHB, more commonly referred to as a "date rape" drug.

Banis was charged with the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a fake identification card, misdemeanor theft, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a weapon without a Firearm Owner's Identification Card.

Mundt is charged with theft and possession of a fictitious or altered ID card.

Both men were arraigned in Cook County Criminal Court yesterday. Mundt's bond was set at $50,000. The judge set Banis's bond at $200,000. The Cook County State Attorney's Office is now investigating the case.

Police say they do not know what the men planned to do with the weapons, cash drugs or IDs.

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