Indiana man who cannibalized ex-girlfriend sentenced to life without parole

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind – A man from Indiana who has been declared incompetent to stand trial multiple times over the past six years was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday, with no possibility of parole, for killing and cannibalizing his former girlfriend in 2014

Joseph Albert Oberhansley, 39, of Jeffersonville, was convicted last month of murder and robbery on September 11, 2014, murder of Tammy Joe Blanton Oberhansley maintained his innocence in the murder, telling reporters that two black men had killed Blanton, 46, inside his house

Oberhansley confessed on the day of the murder, however, to killing Blanton and eating parts of his body, authorities said Blanton suffered more than 25 stab wounds, as well as multiple blunt force injuries, according to the Associated Press

Oberhansley, who was the only witness for the defense, said he suffered from head injuries when he confessed to killing Blanton He claimed that the men who killed him knocked him unconscious and that he did not wake up until the police arrived at Blanton’s gate several hours later

Clark County District Attorney Jeremy Mull told jurors the attackers would not have brutally killed Blanton but left Oberhansley unharmed

« We all know they didn’t, » Mull said, according to the AP « We all know Joseph Oberhansley killed Tammy Blanton »

Oberhansley was convicted of murder and burglary, but jurors found him not guilty of rape

Leaving the courthouse, Oberhansley said he was disappointed with the outcome of his trial and said he did not kill Tammy Jo Blanton @WDRBNews picTwittercom / w7jFmAHoTC

NOW: Southern Indiana judge sentenced Joseph Oberhansley to life without parole « I didn’t kill Tammy Blanton, » Oberhansley said « Two blacks did » Jury got him found guilty of the murder of Blanton in September imageTwittercom / yrq60ENADq

The Jeffersonville News and Tribune reported that Blanton had confided in friends that Oberhansley had held her captive the weekend before her death and repeatedly raped her She addressed the allegations in texts with Blanton days before her murder

« You can choose to deny what happened Saturday through Sunday I will not be in denial, » Blanton wrote, according to the newspaper « No one, and I mean no one, can terrify me like you did it on Sunday I’ll never forget it as long as I live « 

Oberhansley’s response was an apology, News and Tribune reported. He asked Blanton to « come to him »

Blanton responded by telling her to take her things out of her house before going to the police. She threatened to file a complaint for rape and forcible confinement

« I don’t want to involve the police, but if you don’t give me a choice, that’s what I’ll have to do, » Blanton sent

Blanton stayed with a friend on Monday and Tuesday evenings, returning home on Wednesday only after her father changed her locks

Blanton had texted a friend in September Ten that she had locked all of her windows and placed a chair under the button on her back door

« At the end of the day I take my life back, » read the text « I worked too hard to get here No one will bring me down »

Blanton not the first person Oberhansley killed According to Deseret News, Oberhansley, then 18, entered his grandmother’s house in Utah in December January 9, 1998, and shot and killed his girlfriend, Sabrina Elder

Oberhansley, who used methamphetamine, shot his mother in the back before shooting himself in the head According to the News, he was in « great emotional distress » following the recent death of his father and suicide from his brother

The 36-year-old Indiana man who ‘murdered and ate his ex-girlfriend’ is now found to be mentally fit to stand trial 1) Joseph

A bullet remains in Oberhansley’s frontal lobe, the newspaper reported According to Oberhansley’s defense attorney in this case, the injury to his brain made him a calmer person

Oberhansley pleaded guilty in 2000 to manslaughter and attempted murder and spent over a decade in a Utah jail before being released in 2012 He was on parole at the time of the murder by Blanton

He was facing other felony charges, including one for strangulation following an incident in March 2013 at a Jeffersonville bar when Blanton was killed Mull, who handled the 2013 case, had asked that Oberhansley be detained in lieu of a $ 25,000 cash bond

Another prosecutor, who has since resigned, agreed to reduce the bail to $ 5,000 Oberhansley was able to post the 10%, or $ 500, required to be released

I thought he was dangerous, I was right he was, « Mull told WAVE in Louisville after Blanton’s murder » And he was released without my knowledge That devastates me « 

Oberhansley was arrested again two months before the murder following a police chase in Kentucky Blanton saved him this time around, the news station reported

« I want you to look me in the eye and tell me you didn’t, » Blanton’s mother told Oberhansley during Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, according to the News and Tribune « You’re just pure evil, and you’re just lucky you can live your life breathing »

Victim’s mother Tammy Jo Blanton was there & for the 1st time, talked about her daughter, Oberhansley & her pain imageTwittercom / k7DkqbYl8e

Oberhansley retorted that he was a « highly religious man, » the newspaper reported. He and Blanton’s mother argued until the judge ordered Oberhansley to stop talking to him

Another family member of the victim said Oberhansley showed no remorse for killing Blanton, a murder she said devastated the family

« Tammy Jo couldn’t fix you » said the woman « You’re a Rotting Monster in Hell »

According to an affidavit of probable cause in the case, Blanton called 911 at 2:52 a.m. to report that her ex-boyfriend was outside trying to get in and that he would not leave Officers answered the call and found Oberhansley outside

Oberhansley claimed he lived in the house but said his key would not work When he produced his identity he gave a different address

« He has expressed his agitation at not being able to enter the house and has repeatedly complained that the police always side with the women, » Detective Todd Hollis wrote in the affidavit

When an officer spoke with Blanton, she explained that she had broken up with Oberhansley and changed the locks on her house.She asked the officers to remove him

Officers watched Oberhansley drive off in a white 2002 Chevrolet Blazer, affidavit says They stayed at the scene for several minutes to ensure Oberhansley was gone

Oberhansley’s mother, Brenda Lee Self, later told detectives that Oberhansley entered her room at her home around 3:30 a.m.m that day, complaining about her relationship with Blanton and the fact that she had changed her locks Oberhansley was also upset with her finances and her job, she said

« When Oberhansley got out of his vehicle, she followed him and sat with him in the vehicle for several minutes to talk to him further, » Hollis wrote. « After their conversation, Oberhansley left in his vehicle, alone »

When Blanton failed to show up for work later that morning across the Ohio River in Louisville, Ky., co-workers became concerned and called his cell phone A man pretending to be her brother answered the phone and said she went to treat his sick father

“(The friend) didn’t believe the man answering Blanton’s phone was her brother,” affidavit states “(She) then called Jeffersonville Police and requested an assistance check social work by agents from the Blanton home « 

Officers who arrived at Blanton’s home shortly after 10 a.m. found his vehicle in the driveway and signs of forced entry at his back door

« He identified himself as Joe but said he had no ID, » wrote Hollis. « He told the police that Blanton was not at home and that he didn’t know where she was « 

The officers ordered Oberhansley to come out to the front of the house, where they saw new wounds on his right hand. When they searched him for weapons, they found a folding knife in his pocket

While her co-workers were detaining Oberhansley, Jeffersonville Police Officer Connie Viers walked inside to check on Blanton She confirmed the back door had been broken into and found blood on several surfaces of the house

Viers returned outside after noticing a large amount of blood in the bathroom, along with a large vinyl camping tent draped over the tub

Accompanied by other officers, she returned to the home to secure the scene Capt Mike Pavey went to the bathroom, where he found Blanton dead in the tub

« The front of the victim’s skull appeared to have been crushed and brain tissue appeared to be scattered around the tub, » Hollis wrote

Oberhansley was taken into custody for questioning and a search warrant was executed at the scene A deputy coroner examined Blanton’s body and found injuries to his face, head, neck and chest

Most of the cuts were deep, including a « full-thickness cut » covering most of her neck

« Much of the front of his skull was removed, » states affidavit « Much of victim’s brain was missing »

An examination of the cuts to Blanton’s chest showed his body was also missing his heart

Parts of his brain were found in the tub, along with part of his skull and in a trash can, Hollis wrote

« A plate with what appeared to be skull bone and blood was found in the kitchen, » according to the document « A pan and pair of tongs with blood on the handles were found on the above the stove

« The cooking surface of the pan was blackened with a void in the middle where the fired material had been removed »

Friends gather outside Tammy Jo Blanton’s house where police say her ex boyfriend killed her Vigil starts photo #WDRBTwittercom / KGMgVDDPDm

In the front bedroom of the house, police found several trash bags containing Oberhansley’s things One of Blanton’s friends told detectives he had spoken to him the night before about his relationship issues and suggested that he put Oberhansley’s things away and put them on the porch for him to collect

When investigators questioned Oberhansley, he initially claimed not to know Blanton had been killed Eventually he admitted to breaking into her house and the bathroom, where she had locked herself afterwards his break-in

« He also admitted to mutilating his body, using a jigsaw to cut open his skull, remove part of his brain and eat it raw, » Hollis wrote. « He further admitted that he cooked part of his brain and ate it »

When asked what happened to Blanton’s heart Oberhansley, he confessed to eating it with part of one of his lungs

Crowds gather and march across the Big Four Bridge in honor of murder victim Tammy Jo Blanton @WLKY picTwittercom / NqmsIfjoSJ

Questions about Oberhansley’s mental competence have plagued the case from the start According to the Louisville Courier Journal, Oberhansley told police he could hear Blanton’s thoughts and planned to cut him off. head

He also complained in court appearances that his lawyers « were trying to control (his) mind »

In October 2017, a judge ruled him incompetent to stand trial and ordered his detention at Logansport State Hospital, the AP reported In July 2018, it was determined that he had regained his skills after treatment

Oberhansley’s first trial ended in a trial overturn in August 2019 after prosecution witness mentioned Oberhansley’s alleged drug use The witness also said Blanton was reluctant to call the police after the alleged rape and forcible confinement over the weekend because she did not want to send him back to jail

Jurors were not supposed to hear testimony about Oberhansley’s drug use or criminal history as these details could have harmed the panel against him, WAVE reported in Louisville

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Life imprisonment, Tammy Jo Blanton, sentence, parole

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