There’s a lovely old 1895 Italianate mansion for sale in historic Old Louisville that you can probably pick up for a song. With 11 bedrooms, 8½ baths, and over 7,000 square feet of living space, it was pretty much a bargain when listed for $275,000; and now it has been reduced to $119,900. And—but for the fact that the cops recently found a corpse buried in the basement—should sell quickly.
As we told you yesterday, the Louisville Police were called to the mansion located at 1435 South 4th Street, last June 17, on a report of a “domestic disturbance” involving two gay lovers, Joseph R. Banis and Jeffrey S. Mundt. An investigation led to the discovery of the decomposing body of James Carroll, of Lexington, in a large blue plastic tub about three feet under the dirt floor in the basement. Police say Carroll died from gunshot and stab wounds, and that Banis, Mundt, and Carroll were romantically involved. Banis and Mundt, both 38, were arrested and charged with the murder.
During the LMPD interrogations, both men described how they dug a pit in the basement to hide Carroll’s body; but each claimed the other was responsible for the murder. The two defendants were also arrested in Chicago, in April of last year, where police said they found $55,000 worth of counterfeit money, date rape drugs, handguns, and fake IDs in their hotel room. Charges there are pending.
Banis, who is facing the death penalty, will go on trial May 11. Mundt, who faces life in prison, will be tried on September 7. But one of Banis’ lawyers has complained that the defense has been frustrated by missing evidence. At a pretrial hearing this morning, Darren Wolff, Joseph Banis' attorney, told WDRB-41 that, "We're frustrated with the process. We don't as we speak have all the evidence in the case."
Defense lawyers claim that federal investigators—including the CIA—have confiscated the defendants’ laptops and hard drives from the Chicago incident; before the discovery of the murder in Louisville, and that these devices may contain information exculpatory to the defendants.
Meanwhile, the murder mansion is on the market, and would make a lovely residence for some genteel family seeking to settle in the historic Old Louisville neighborhood. Some of the rooms look like they could use a little restoration work. And the basement appears to be unfinished.
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