Joseph Banis accused of tampering with evidence
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An emergency hearing was held Wednesday on new accusations against convicted murderer Joseph Banis. His former boyfriend and co-defendant, Jeffrey Mundt, claims Banis is tampering with evidence from behind bars.
Mundt said Banis was changing Mundt's profile on meet-up websites from a computer Banis has in jail. Judge Mitch Perry said Banis was allowed to use the computer to discuss his case with his attorneys.
Friday, Banis was found guilty of murdering Jamie Carroll in 2009 and burying his body in the basement of Banis and Mundt's Old Louisville home.
Banis was sentenced on Monday to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years, but Judge Perry allowed him to keep the computer.
Mundt's attorneys called the hearing on Wednesday because they believed Banis accessed the internet with that computer and got into Mundt's profile on those meet-up websites that were used as evidence in Banis' case.
Banis' attorneys questioned Mundt at length about what he had on those websites during the trial. Mundt's attorneys want the computer confiscated so they can determine whether Banis was using it to mess with those sites.
"The reason I styled this as an emergency motion," explained Mundt's attorney Ted Shouse, "was we learned exactly what was going on at the jail just 36 hours ago, so I wanted to get that (computer) taken away from him and put in a secure location and have a debate. But it is our belief that he may have tampered with some of the evidence."
Banis was not present for the hearing, but his attorney Justin Brown was present. Brown said the internet has been disabled from the computer. Brown also objected to Mundt's attorneys being able to examine the computer because it contains private conversations between Banis and his attorneys.
Judge Perry ordered it confiscated by Friday and both sides will have another hearing on Monday.
As part of his sentencing deal in which he avoided the death penalty, Banis is not allowed to appeal his case and has to make himself available to testify against Mundt whose trial is expected to start May 13.
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