BLAME GAME: Prosecutors call Joseph Banis as guilty as his then- - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BLAME GAME: Prosecutors call Joseph Banis as guilty as his then-partner

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Some call it a love triangle gone bad after a male couple is accused of brutally murdering their sex partner.

Joseph Banis is facing the death penalty for the murder of James Carroll.  The defense says his partner actually killed him.

Prosecutors claimed Banis should share the same amount of blame as his partner at the time, Jeffrey Mundt.  The defense says Banis is only guilty of assisting the moving of Carroll's body, something that "haunts" him every day.

Banis supposedly went to police guilt-ridden in June of 2010, six months after Carroll's death, after an argument with Mundt.  He said it all happened because Carroll, their "meth dealer and sex partner" whom they met online, was having sex with him & Mundt became jealous because he was not included.

Police say he was trying to strike a plea deal.  The defense questioned the lead detective's experience in homicides and the deal that wasn't given when the information about what happened was provided.

LMPD Det. John Lesher said, "I did not believe him at first because of the circumstances.  And what he was telling me.  He would only tell me a little bit and then he would bring, 'Let's strike a deal.'  I've been a police officer since 2001. Part of my job was working narcotics previously, and everybody wants to give me a deal, 'Give me a deal man, I can get you this man, I can get you that.' That was my take on it."

Yesterday, the prosecution painted a brutal picture of the end of Carroll's life and even after.  They say Carroll was placed in a 50-gallon plastic container for six months in their Old Louisville home basement after being hog-tied, beaten with a sledgehammer, stabbed, and shot in December of 2009.

Prosecutors say the plastic coffin was covered with lime, sealed shut with foam, and strapped with duct tape.

Mundt is being tried separately.  He's expected to testify against Banis later on in the trial.

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