Documents shed light on what may have happened to man buried in basement

Published: Aug. 12, 2010 at 10:36 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2010 at 4:50 PM EDT
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Louisville, KY - By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - WAVE 3 exclusively obtained a copy of the discovery filed Thursday in the case involving two Louisville men who are accused of killing a Lexington man and burying him in their basement.

Detectives found the body of James Carroll in a plastic tub in the basement of an Old Louisville home in June, but they believe Carroll's body had been there at least six months. According to the LMPD report, Carroll died from a gunshot and several stab wounds.

LMPD detectives subsequently arrested Jeffrey Mundt and Joseph Banis on murder, robbery, forgery, and drug charges. Detectives were tipped off about the location of the body after a domestic fight between Mundt and Banis.  Mundt called 911 as he hid from Banis, his boyfriend.  Mundt told the dispatcher he had been trying to break up with Banis.

"Is the door locked to the bedroom?"

"The door's locked, but I can hear the wood breaking on the door."

During the 911 call, a terrified Mundt can be heard begging police to break down the door to his home to stop Banis - who Mundt said was trying to break down the bedroom door with a hammer.

Mundt also told dispatchers Banis had a knife.

"He's threatening me right now."

"He's threatening you right now?"


"Does he know you've called police?"

"No, I don't think so."

After officers arrested Banis, he told detectives he had information regarding a murder. Officers then found Carroll's body in the basement of that home on South 4th Street.

The discovery filed Thursday may shed light to what happened to Carroll. There were a number of crime scene photos, 911 calls, and a nearly 200 page police report.

The discovery contains several hours of videotape of police interrogating Mundt and Banis about the murder. When the two men were questioned, both were quick to point the finger at the other.

Below is a glimpse of the conversations both men had with detectives. When detectives questioned Banis, he told them Mundt and Carroll were inside the home with him. He said all of them were doing drugs. Banis and Mundt said the men had been involved sexually.

"And, so he [Carroll] and Jeff were sitting there talking. Before I knew it, Jeff had stabbed Jamie [Carroll]. Jeff, came around the bed. [He] had a .38 revolver, which I had seen before, in his hands. He shot Jamie twice."

At first, Mundt told detectives he knew nothing.

"We're with the homicide unit, OK? Obviously, you can kinda put two and two together, OK?

"Jesus Christ."

"Take your time, but...

"Can you tell me if there's someone buried in my house?"

"There is."

Later on during the questioning, Mundt blamed Banis for the crime, telling detectives Banis cut Carroll's throat, then shot him.

"And he and Joey started struggling and Joey grabbed the hand gun - I believe it was a revolver, because that's one of the guns I know that he had - and shot the guy:".

The questioning continued.

"It was all because of the devil's drug - this meth, OK?"

"We were not using..."

"That got ahold of you, yes you did use it. Here's the deal, OK: you're not the victim in this relationship, OK?


A second detective then questioned Mundt.

Detective 2:
"There is a victim here and he's dead. And, you can tell by my shoes and my clothing that I spent all night digging him out. You knew about the dope. You knew he was bringing dope over. You knew he had a lot of dope and you knew he had a lot of money and you all robbed him."

"You're both cowards because you won't man up on it, OK? Like he said, you brought him over there to rob him for his money. To rob him for his dope because nobody would give a [expletive] about him, OK? And that's what happened there that night. Is that not what happened there that night?"

"That's what Joey..."


"I'm sorry ... but I did not do this."

Then Mundt said Banis threatened him, if he didn't keep his mouth shut.

"Because I feared for my life. Everything that I have said to everybody....I feared for my life through this and that was the reason why because he held this over my head."

Meanwhile, according to police reports, Banis told officers that Mundt was jealous of Carroll.

In those documents, Banis described meeting Carroll online. He said they met in either September or October of 2009. Banis told police the pair had a sexual relationship. In the paperwork, Banis told detectives the two were aware of each other's history with drugs.

It was during that time, Banis said, that he met Mundt - also online - and that he and Mundt became exclusive. According to Banis, Mundt was aware Banis had a relationship with Carroll.  According to the report he told detectives, "Mr. Mundt didn't care for Mr. Carroll basically due to jealousy and personality issues."

During the LMPD interrogations, both men described what they did with the body next. Both described digging a hole in the basement and then cleaning the evidence. During the entire time the men were questioned, they placed the blame on the other person.

Banis and Mundt were due in court 11 a.m. Aug. 13 for a pretrial hearing.

In April of 2010, Mundt and Banis were arrested in Chicago, where police said they found counterfeit money, a stash of a substance believed to be a date drug, and several weapons in their hotel room.

Court documents indicate LMPD detectives asked Banis about the .38 caliber gun used in the crime and where it was located. Banis told detectives that Chicago police officers kept it because it was in his possession when he was arrested.

Copyright 2010 WAVE News. All rights reserved.