Opening statements delivered in Mundt murder trial


by Adam Walser

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 15 at 7:47 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Two completely different pictures were painted involving the same gruesome crime during opening statements in the Jeffrey Mundt trial.

Mundt is on trial for the murder of James Carroll, who prosecutors say Mundt and his lover Joseph Banis stabbed, shot and stuffed into a Rubbermaid coffin after a night of sex and drugs in November 2009.

Carroll's body was found buried in the basement of Mundt's Old Louisville Mansion in June 2010.

Banis was convicted of murder in March.

Now, prosecutors are focusing on Mundt's role in the crime.

Each man has blamed the other.

"He was complicit in the act," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Josh Schenider said. "They stabbed Joey, shot Joey, crammed him into a box. They took his body down into his basement, digging a hole for hours, placing their hands on his dead body when they jammed it in there."

Mundt's attorney Steve Romines says Mundt was a target of Banis' psychopathic scheme to target victims for robbery.

He described Mundt as a Phi Beta Kappa college graduate who was the former head of the IT Department at Northwestern University.

Romines portrayed Banis as a career criminal with 17 felony arrests before he and Mundt ever met.

"Joey Banis killed him. He's been convicted of it. What do they have linking Mundt to this? Nothing, not one thing," Romines said.

Romines showed jurors entries from Banis computer which detailed his plans to target rich men.

He also showed a "suicide video" in which Banis claims to be delivering his final words while holding Mundt hostage at gunpoint.

Banis, in the video, apologizes for all the wrong he's done.

"This includes killing someone," Banis said on the video.

Witness testimony in the Mundt trial will begin Thursday morning, May 16.