Man accused of killing woman, eating body parts ‘insane’
CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Attorneys say the man accused of killing a woman and eating body parts was ‘insane’, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
Defense attorneys for Joseph Oberhansley, the man accused of killing his estranged girlfriend and consuming parts of her body in 2014, plan to argue at trial that their client was insane at the time of the murder, according to the Courier Journal.
Newly filed court documents in the four-year-old case show two psychiatrists from LifeSpring, a mental health service provider in Jeffersonville, Indiana, will examine Oberhansley to determine if he was legally insane at the time of the killing.
The Courier Journal reports, the same psychiatrists are required to testify at trial, set for August 19 before Clark Circuit Court Judge Vicki Carmichael.
Oberhansley, age 37, was arrested in September 2014 after police found his ex-girlfriend Tammy Jo Blanton dead in her Jeffersonville home.
A grisly police affidavit filed in court alleges the estranged ex-boyfriend broke into Blanton’s home, stabbed her and eventually ate parts of her body.
Oberhansley was charged with murder, burglary and rape. If convicted, he faces up to the death penalty.
The issue of competency has dominated the case in recent years, with Oberhansley undergoing a number of evaluations to see if he was fit for trial.
Oberhansley was found incompetent to stand trial in October 2017 and was committed to a state mental health facility with the aim of bringing him to competency, according to the Courier Journal.
The following summer, a psychiatrist at Logansport State Hospital decided Oberhansley was legally competent, according to the Courier Journal.
The paper reports, Oberhansley’s attorneys Brent Westerfeld and Bart Betteau, told the judge in court papers their client was still expressing “bizarre and irrational beliefs” including that they were working for the devil and were trying to control his thoughts.
Oberhansley was evaluated again by medical professionals, and in November 2018, Judge Carmichael ruled he was fit for trial, according to the Courier Journal.