Indiana man accused of killing, eating girlfriend deemed incompetent to stand trial
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — An Indiana man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body isn’t mentally competent to stand trial, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Clark County Circuit Court Judge Vicki Carmichael deemed 36-year-old Joseph Oberhansley incompetent after hearing testimony from three doctors who evaluated him.
Prosecutors allege that Oberhansley broke into the Jeffersonville home of his 46-year-old ex-girlfriend, Tammy Jo Blanton, in September 2014, and that he raped her, stabbed her to death and ate parts of her body.
Carmichael ordered the competency evaluations after defense attorneys Brent Westerfeld and Bart Betteau filed a motion in February saying Oberhansley wasn’t able to participate in his own defense or fully understand the court proceedings.
“He is suspicious, paranoid, uncommunicative, and agitated,” they wrote, saying there is a “complete breakdown” in communication between them and Oberhansley.
The evaluation reports by psychologists and psychiatrists have been filed under seal, reported the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, which is across the Ohio River from Jeffersonville.
Clark County prosecutor Jeremy Mull said he intends to bring the case to trial eventually. Oberhansley, who faces murder, rape and abuse of a corpse charges, will undergo “competency restoration” treatments in an effort to try him at a later time.
WDRB-TV reported that while on his way into court for Wednesday’s hearing, Oberhansley said he was innocent and “outraged by these false charges against me.”