Heated testimony on day 2 of Banis murder trial


by Gene Kang


Posted on February 27, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 7:26 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It is a gruesome case that police say started with a love triangle and ended in murder. The second day in the Joseph Banis, 41, murder trial proved to be a heated one as a lead homicide detective was cross-examined.

Banis' defense attorney showed a picture of his client hugging the murder victim, James Carroll. Louisville's lead homicide detective, Jon Lesher, testified that Banis even showed them where to find the victim's body in his Old Louisville home.

"Him providing me this map, him telling me how the victim was killed how he was hit with a sledge hammer and wouldn't fit in the box. How he was twined and how they sprinkled lime," Lesher said.

Defense tried to paint a picture that Banis' former lover, Jeffrey Mundt, was the cold blooded killer motivated by jealousy in a twisted love triangle.

Detective Lesher says a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver was used to shoot Carroll in the chin. A photo shows Banis holding an extender that belongs to that weapon, recovered as evidence in Chicago.

But defense says Carroll died of stab wounds, not gunshot wounds, according to the medical examiner. A knife was never recovered.

Police say Banis and Mundt had a relationship with Carroll, who was a meth dealer, after meeting him on a dating or hookup website for men.

A love triangle, detectives say, fueled by drugs that involved counterfeit money and robbery.

Carroll's body was found in June 2010 after sitting in a Rubbermaid container in their Old Louisville home for nearly six months. Banis has blamed Mundt this whole time.

The jury was shown evidence from the murder scene. Mundt is expected to take the stand, testifying against Banis as early as Friday.

The jury trial is expected to end as late as March 15.