Jury selection begins in Old Louisville murder trial that caught national attention


by Adam Walser


Posted on February 15, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 15 at 8:20 PM

(WHAS11) -- A high profile murder trial got underway at the Jefferson County Judicial Center Friday afternoon.

Joseph Banis is accused of killing his former lover and burying the body in the basement of the Old Louisville mansion that he owned with another man.

This is a case the caught national attention.

Police say it involved a love triangle, drugs, robbery, counterfeit money, and, ultimately, murder.

“It's something a Hollywood producer would look for to make a movie out of,” Louisville author David Domine said.

The trial is expected to be one of the most lurid and sensational trials in recent memory.

Jury selection got underway in the capital murder trial of Joseph Banis, 41.

Banis and his lover Jeffrey Mundt are accused of murdering a man they both had a prior relationship with, James Carroll.

Carroll’s body was found in the basement of the couple’s Victorian mansion in June of 2010.

Domine is writing a book about the case.

“You can't make it up. You've got a gruesome murder, a body buried in a basement of a scary old Victorian home. You've got drugs involved. At one time there was $50,000 in counterfeit money involved,” Domine said.

In a pretrial hearing,  attorneys also alluded to evidence of bomb making and bank robberies expected to be brought up at the trial.

Because of the nature of the evidence, nearly 130 prospective jurors have been called in to make sure a fair and impartial jury is found.

Jury selection alone is expected to take more than a week. 

“In this particular case, pretrial publicity will be one of the topics we expect to talk about individually during next week, but until we speak to those jurors, I really can't speculate as to how much or how little they know and how that could affect the process,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Ryane Conray said.

Domine says his research has turned up some interesting facts in the case, including the fact that the house where the body was found was once a sanitarium run by a mad doctor, and, before Banis and Mundt moved in, was the site of another gruesome crime.

“They bought it from the family of a woman who was attacked and ended up dying in her home because of her injuries, “ Domine said.

Testimony in the trial is expected to begin February 26. The trial is expected to last until March 15.