Banis testifies against ex-lover Mundt - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Banis testifies against ex-lover Mundt

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- A lurid Louisville murder trial took yet another turn Friday, as jurors heard explosive testimony from co-defendant and convicted killer Joseph Banis.

He admits to helping hide the body but Banis says it was Jeffrey Mundt, his former lover, who actually killed James Carroll and buried him in the basement of an Old Louisville home.

"If I had wanted to kill Jamie for any reason, be it robbery, jealously, anger, psychotic break, I would have chosen a much better place and time," said Banis.

Sitting on the witness stand in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit before a jury, Banis did not hold back any details.

"There was a dead body, blood dripping into a dirt floor," he said.

Banis says in December of 2009 he, Jeff Mundt and James Carroll were having a drug-induced threesome when Mundt pulled out a knife and a gun and killed Carroll.

Banis says he then helped Mundt hide the body and cleaned up evidence of the murder instead of reporting the crime.

"I'm not saying I didn't have any guilt or involvement in what happened," Banis said.

Attorneys aggressively cross-examined Banis on Friday.

Banis said it was Mundt who dragged Carroll's body to the basement to be buried inside a container and hid under a dirt floor.

"I held the body, he sledge hammered Jamie's kneecaps, we folded him into a position where he would fit into the container," said Banis.

Banis says his lengthy criminal record involving drugs and theft kept him from calling the cops that night.

"Quite honestly, I was thinking in my mind is there any way out of this?" said Banis.

He says he thought he'd get blamed for the murder over Mundt because Mundt is a "golden boy" on paper.

"You are a thief aren't you?" Steven Romines, defense attorney, asked Banis.

"I have committed theft by deception before, yes," Banis said.

Romines then accused Banis of being a drug dealer and a murderer.

Banis said he was a drug dealer in a past life but said he's not a killer.

"I sit here convicted of complicity to murder because I didn't take the stand in my own trial because your client got up here and lied to explain the body buried in the basement of his house," said Banis.

Banis' testimony was the opposite of Mundt's March testimony that helped convict Banis in the murder and robbery of Carroll.

Banis' testimony is expected to resume on Tuesday morning, after the holiday weekend.


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