Banis trial opening statements reveal gruesome details


by Gene Kang

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 12:51 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Opening statements began Tuesday morning in the capital murder trial for Joseph Banis.

The details are sensational in this trial which involves a love triangle, drugs and murder. A gruesome case of "he said... he said."

Prosecution began opening arguments at full speed in the murder trial of Joseph Banis, 41.

"The last thing that Jamie Carroll will ever remember is lying naked on that bed as he is stabbed and shot numerous times," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney, Stuart Schneider said.

December 2009, Banis and his lover Jeffrey Mundt are accused of killing James Carroll and hiding his body in the basement of their Old Louisville mansion.

"Carroll spent approximately six months in a 50 gallon Rubbermaid container. They have to take a sledge hammer and break his knees and wedge him inside of this container," Schneider said.

Banis' attorney says his client is guilty of tampering with evidence but is not a cold blooded killer.

"Yes he assisted in moving Jamie's body and yes he helped Mundt to bury Jamie's body," said Banis' defense attorney, Justin Brown.

Police say both had a relationship with Carroll after meeting him on a dating or hookup website for men.

"Jamie Carroll was a drug dealer and he dealt meth, crystal meth," Detective Jon Lesher, with LMPD's Homicide Unit, said.

A love triangle, detectives say, fueled by drugs that involved counterfeit money and robbery. But it wasn't until June 2010 that the lovers started leaking information to police when officers responded to a domestic fight at their Victorian mansion.

Sgt. Jacob McKnight was one of the officers who arrested Banis.

"He's in the back seat trying to negotiating with me saying he has knowledge of a homicide that Louisville Metro Police have no knowledge of," Sgt. McKnight said.

Banis' murder trial is expected to last until March 15. Mundt will be tried separately at a later date.