Jury deliberating fate of man who could face the death penalty - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Jury deliberating fate of man who could face the death penalty

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Joseph Banis Joseph Banis

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – On Thursday afternoon, jurors began deciding the fate of a Louisville man who could get the death penalty if convicted of murdering another man and burying his body in the basement of an Old Louisville home.

Jurors have the option of finding Banis not guilty. If they find him guilty, they have a choice of ten convictions.

The first is the murder of Jamie Carroll. His body was found in June 2010 buried in the basement of the home Banis shared with this then-boyfriend, co-defendant Jeffrey Mundt.

If the jury doesn't think Banis is guilty of actually murdering Carroll, they can find him guilty of knowing Mundt was going to kill Carroll and doing nothing to stop it.

Mundt spent nearly two days on the witness stand telling jurors it was Banis who killed Carroll. During closing arguments, defense attorney Darren Wolff called Mundt's credibility faulty while showing jurors a picture of Mundt crying during his initial interview with police when he told them he knew nothing about a body in his basement.

"He wasn't being untruthful from the beginning," Wolff told the jury. "He didn't do what Mr. Banis did, which was telling his side of the story or tell (police) what happened. He chose the opposite path. You have to consider the credibility of witnesses."

For its part, the state argued both Mundt and Banis are guilty of murdering Carroll. "Two men, two men were charged," argued Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ryane Conroy. "Two men were indicted. Two men murdered Jamie Carroll. They both did it. They both did it. They're both murderers. Today is Joseph Banis' day."

Along with the murder or facilitation to murder charge, the jury has to decide whether Banis is guilty of robbery or facilitation to robbery. He's also facing possible charges of tampering with evidence, possessing three fake counterfeit $50 bills, and possessing meth and drug paraphernalia.

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