Defense calls witnesses in Joseph Banis murder trial - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Defense calls witnesses in Joseph Banis murder trial

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Jeffery Mundt took the stand for a second day on Tuesday. Jeffery Mundt took the stand for a second day on Tuesday.
Joseph Banis listened to his ex-boyfriend's testimony in court on Tuesday. Joseph Banis listened to his ex-boyfriend's testimony in court on Tuesday.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Defense attorneys for Joseph Banis started calling their own witnesses in his murder trial Wednesday.

Banis is facing the death penalty if convicted of killing boyfriend Jamie Carroll in December 2009 then burying his body in the basement of his other boyfriend's Old Louisville home.

Wednesday morning defense attorney Justin Brown questioned two people who knew the owner of that home Old Louisville home, Jeffrey Mundt. Mundt is also charged in the crime, but will have a separate trial.

Banis' attorneys argue it was Mundt who killed Carroll out of jealousy when he saw Carroll and Banis together. They said it was Mundt who threatened Banis into helping dispose of the body. Prosecutors argues it was both men who killed Carroll during a plan to rob him of his drugs and money.

Kenny Robertson was the first on the stand Wednesday. He told jurors Mundt hired him in 2008 to remodel his home. He testified the last job he did for Mundt was in May 2010, one month before Carroll's body was found in buried in the basement. He said he was paid $800 to clean out the basement and was prepared to concrete the floor after he returned from a vacation. Robertson testified while on that vacation, Carroll's body was found and Mundt and Banis were arrested so he never did the work.

Marion Libby Davis, who goes by Libby, also testified Wednesday morning. She worked with Mundt at the University of Louisville where he worked as a contractor in their IT department. Davis testified she worked with Mundt daily and he was always "jolly". She said he never seemed depressed or scared. Tuesday Mundt testified he never told police about the body in his basement because Banis threatened his life.

Davis told jurors she also called Louisville Metro Police in June 2010 after learning of Mundt's arrest. She told them at one point she saw fresh scratches on Mundt's neck. He told her he got them while with a woman and her family at a lake in Indiana, but she didn't believe his story because the weather was too cold to be at a lake the time of year she saw the scratches. she said she didn't understand why he would be with a woman, knowing his relationship with Banis.

Davis testified the minute she saw the story of his arrest on the news, she "knew where the scratches came from."

Defense attorneys told jurors in opening statements Banis would take the stand in his own defense.

Reporter Jaimie Weiss is live tweeting testimony from the courthouse. Follow her @JaimieWeiss for updates.

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