Jeffrey Mundt sits with his attorneys while Joseph Banis testifies.
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - He agreed to testify against his ex-boyfriend to avoid the death penalty. Then changed his mind and changed it back again, but Friday Joseph Banis finally took the stand.
Banis told jurors his version of what happened to Jamie Carroll in December 2009. Carroll's body was found buried in the basement of Jeffrey Mundt's Old Louisville home.
Banis was found guilty earlier this year for murdering Jamie Carroll. As part of a sentence agreement, he would get life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years if he gave up his right to appeal and testified against Mundt.
Mundt also took a deal to avoid the death penalty if he testified against Banis. The stories of each man pretty much lined up, with the players switched. While Mundt told the jury in Banis' trial that it was Banis who killed Carroll and he only helped because he was scared, Banis said it was actually the other way around.
There was no room left in the courtroom to watch Banis give his version of what happened when police said he and Mundt killed Carroll after a night of sex and drugs then stuffed his body in a Rubbermaid bin and buried it in the basement of the home in Old Louisville the couple shared.
Banis told the jury it wasn't him. "Jeffrey Mundt stabbed and shot Jamie Carroll and forced me to cover it up."
Banis told the jury while he is open about his long criminal history and drug use, Mundt did not have a record so he was able to live a dual existence. "One which he shows to the world and which allows him to operate in the milieu of a semi-professional environment and one which allows him to satisfy whether it's sexual needs, drug use other impulses financial needs at the time," Banis told jurors.
It was that hidden lifestyle Banis said he was afraid Mundt would use against him, which is why he told jurors he carried a gun. "I had seen him without any preamble or forewarning go from zero to 100 miles per hour and the extreme violence and absolute hesitation I saw on the night Jamie Carroll was killed scared me."
He said it was Mundt who suggested no one would miss Carroll if he was gone. Banis said he regrets now not knowing what Mundt meant.
Banis is expected to continue his testimony after the holiday weekend.