Ballistics link defendants to murder of man buried in basement

Jeffrey Bundt and Joseph Banis
Jeffrey Bundt and Joseph Banis
James Carroll (source: Louisville Metro Department of Corrections)
James Carroll (source: Louisville Metro Department of Corrections)

By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Two men charged with murdering a man and burying him in a basement in a home in old Louisville went before a judge Friday. The Commonwealth submitted a report that connects them with the murder weapon, but they're both pointing fingers at each other.

Joseph Banis and Jeffery Mundt, both 38, were first in the news in April after police found $50,000 in counterfeit money and weapons in their hotel room in Chicago.

Two months later they were charged with killing James Carroll, who was shot, stabbed, and buried in the basement of a home in old Louisville for more than six months.

"A ballistics report states that the fatal shot was fired from a weapon recovered," said Mundt's attorney Steve Romines in court about the recent addition to the discovery. "That weapon was found on Mr. Banis in Chicago. He's been charged with possession of that weapon."

Mundt's attorney argued to Judge Mitch Perry that it wasn't his client's gun and asked him to reduce his bond.

"In 38 years Jeffery Mundt had never been charged with a crime, never been charged with a crime," said Romines. "He meets this individual and within six months he's caught these charges."

The Commonwealth fired back, saying that Mundt was involved.

"It's not Mr. Banis," said prosecutor Ryane Conroy. "It's Mr. Mundt who owned a house where a body was located for seven months."

Perry denied the motion as the two defendants sat on opposite sides of the table. Police have said they were involved in a sexual relationship with each other as well as the victim. The judge has ordered they have no contact throughout the trial.

The prosecution is seeking the death penalty. The defense will argue against it at the next hearing set for December.

A trial date has not been set.

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