Murder suspect does not take stand as expected - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Murder suspect does not take stand as expected

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Joseph Banis Joseph Banis

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An unexpected development in the murder trial of Joseph Banis. On the same day they started their case, Banis' defense attorneys rested after calling three witnesses.

It came as a surprise because just one week ago, on February 26, defense attorney Justin Brown said to the jurors, "I'm going to tell y'all right here from the beginning, from the very beginning, from the very start of our portion of the case that Joey -- we talked about this yesterday, about this long walk -- and Joey is going to take that walk. He's going to sit right here in this witness stand and you are going to hear from Joey Banis. Yes you are." On Wednesday Brown wouldn't comment on why they changed their minds.

Banis could get the death penalty if convicted of killing Jamie Carroll in December 2009.

For two days, jurors heard from Jeffrey Mundt, the other man charged with killing Carroll and burying his body in the basement of Mundt and Banis' Old Louisville home. Mundt is Banis' former boyfriend.  He told jurors that Banis cut Carroll's throat and shot him twice, then threatened Mundt if he didn't help dispose of the body or told anyone what happened.

Brown said it was Mundt who killed Carroll out of jealousy and that it was Mundt who threatened Banis into burying the body. Brown told jurors during opening statements that they would hear that version of the story.

"He is going to testify to each and every one of you about these horrific and terrible and unimaginable accusations and allegations that the government has put against him," Brown said on February 26. "On that witness stand, Joey is going to testify about precisely what happened in that bedroom."

Closing arguments are set for Thursday morning.

You can continue to get updates on the case on Twitter by following reporter @JaimieWeiss.

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