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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A murder trial involving sex, drugs and a love triangle took another bizarre twist on Tuesday, as a courtroom controversy exploded before testimony even began.
Defendant Jeffrey Mundt's former lover and co-defendant, Joseph Banis, was convicted three months ago -- but today, it was learned that Banis is asking for a new trial, claiming misconduct.
In February, Banis was convicted of murder and other charges in the 2009 death of James Carroll, but he was not the only one accused in the killing.
Mundt pointed the finger at Banis during his trial a few months ago for what prosecutors described as the brutal murder of James Carroll. Banis agreed to testify against Mundt, but today, a judge had to answer his attorney's request for renegotiation.
His attorneys claim the conviction was obtained improperly. Prosecutors say they don't think this is fair, and call it "buyer's remorse."
The judge flatly denied Banis' request.
"The court is specifically making the finding that the Commonwealth has done nothing improper with regard to the litigation of these issues," Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry said. "There's no evidence to suggest to the court that the Commonwealth knew in advance, with specificity, what Mr. Mundt was going to say. Nor is there any evidence to suggest that the Commonwealth or any of its agents told him what to say. That's the ruling of the Court."
Mundt was not even in the courtroom today.
Banis has not been formally sentenced, but faces life in prison with the eligibility of parole after 20 years, provided he testifies against Mundt.
Mundt is charged with murder, robbery and tampering with physical evidence.