Joseph Oberhansley, a man from southern Indiana, was previously charged with killing his ex-girlfriend and eating part of her body in an act of cannibalism, and he is now being charged with raping her as well, according to a statement made on Tuesday by the defendant’s attorney. This charge, according to WTHR, is meant to help the prosecution’s case for the death penalty.
Oberhansley, who is 34, was charged last September for allegedly breaking into the home of Tammy Jo Blanton, who was his ex-girlfriend. He was also charged with murdering her and cannibalizing parts of her corpse. Oberhansley pleaded not guilty to the charge. The article went on to say that Judge Vicki Carmichael approved the charge on Monday at the request of Jeremy Mull. who is the prosecutor of Clark County. The rape charged was supposedly added because the other charges were not sufficient enough to warrant the death penalty.
Oberhansley’s trial is scheduled for August 2016. The prosecution wants to ensure they have adequate time to prepare the case. WTHR stated that Oberhansley is currently in solitary confinement and his lawyer is worried about prolonged confinement. Court records revealed that the defendant initially confessed to murdering Blanton by stabbing her. He also said that he removed her organs and ate them. Following his initial confession, he went on to say that he was innocent and maintains that to this day, according to WLKY.
After Blanton was killed, an autopsy was performed as well as an examination to determine if the victim had been raped. The rape test results just came back, so they were unable to charge Oberhansley with this charge until now. The evidence found on Blanton indicated that a sexual assault had occurred. Mull stated that the victim’s family was not surprised by the rape charge and they are devastated by all that has happened.
The prosecutors are pressing hard for the death penalty and have said that some of the factors in this case could earn the death penalty for Oberhansley. The first factor that could make the death penalty a possibility is the intentional murder and burglary. The second factor that could pave the way for the death penalty is the fact that the body was dismembered. The third factor involved is the rape of Blanton.
It is also public record that Oberhansley was previously convicted of killing his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend in Utah. He also shot himself and his mother after killing his ex. In 2012, he was released from prison and moved to southern Indiana shortly after that. He had spent 14 years in prison for these crimes. Blanton even posted a $500 bond in July 2014 to help Oberhansley. In 2014, he was arrested on charges of criminal recklessness and resisting arrest. Apparently, Oberhansley attempted to run from the police and was arrested when they caught up with him.
The Inquisitr reported that Oberhansley said that he was too attractive to be a rapist and also that this case is based on lies and deceit. The article also said that he became angry after hearing about the rape charge, and accused the court of falsifying documents to make him look guilty. The article also added that a motive behind the killing and subsequent cannibalism has not yet been determined. Oberhansley now faces up to 23 hours a day of confinement in a maximum security cell and this will continue until an official decision has been made regarding his fate. His lawyer requested that he be removed from solitary confinement, but the request was denied by Carmichael.
By Heather Granruth