Co-defendant testifies in Banis murder trial


by Adam Walser

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 4 at 7:29 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The Commonwealth's key witness, the co-defendant in the murder of James Caroll, took the stand in the murder trial of Joseph Banis.

Jeffrey Mundt has been promised that he wont' face the death penalty if the jury convicts Banis of murder. Mundt is scheduled to be tried on a murder charge later this year.

The testimony Mundt offered on the stand Monday was graphic and disturbing. He said that he and his lover Banis had engaged in group sex with Carroll on a previous occassion before contacting him online on an evening in December 2009.

Mundt says Carrroll drove from Lexington to his Old Louisville mansion, where the three used meth together and began to engage in sex acts.

"The three of us stripped naked and started watching porn," Mundt said.

Mundt testified that while he and Carroll were together, Banis, who he described as a jealous lover, took a knife and began to stab Carroll.

"Jamie was screaming Joey's name over and over again," Mundt said. "Joey had a knfe in his hand and was slashing at Jamie's throat. They were struggling. They were thrashing back and forth. There was broken glass. There was blood that was literally everywhere. You could literally smell the blood."

Mundt testified that Banis then shot Carroll twice and demanded that Mundt help him dispose of the body.

"Joey pointed the gun at me and told me I had a choice, which was to help him or be killed right then and there," Mundt said.

Mundt testified that Banis seized all the cell phones in the house, pulled the land line phones from the walls and disabled the computer router to prevent Mundt from calling police.

Banis allegedly then gave Mundt a date-rape drug to calm him down.

"I helped him clean up the room. I helped him dig a hold in the basement, and I helped him bury Mr. Carroll," Mundt said.

Police discovered Carroll's body in June of 2010, after they responded to a domestic dispute at his home and arrested for Banis for assault.

While being transported to the police station, Banis told officers that Mundt had killed a man and buried his body in the basement.

Mundt testifed Monday afternoon that Banis stole Carroll's Rolex watch and drove his pickup truck after Carroll's murder.

He said that he and Banis had a $500 a week meth habit, which he said Banis paid for by robbing a bank and printing counterfeit money.