Jury convicts Indiana man accused of killing, cannibalism

A southern Indiana man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body was convicted of a murder charge Friday.

Posted: Sep 21, 2020 8:49 AM

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body was convicted of a murder charge Friday.

Jurors deliberated for about five hours before announcing the guilty verdict against Joseph Oberhansley of Jeffersonville in Tammy Jo Blanton’s death. The 46-year-old victim’s body was found at her home the morning of Sept. 11, 2014, badly mutilated with more than 25 sharp force injuries and multiple blunt force injuries, authorities have said.

The jury convicted Oberhansley of murder and burglary, but reached a not guilty verdict on rape charges against him.

Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull in his closing statement challenged Oberhansley's testimony Thursday as the lone defense witness that he was suffering from head injuries when he was coerced into a confession after nearly three hours of police interrogation following the discovery of Blanton’s body.

Oberhansley testified “two Black guys” had been at her home when he arrived around 4 a.m. that day and said they were responsible for Blanton’s death and knocking him out. He awoke when police knocked on the door looking for the victim.

Mull asked the jury to consider why the men would have violently killed Blanton but left Oberhansley unconscious without further injury.

“We all know they didn’t do that,” Mull said. “We all know Joseph Oberhansley killed Tammy Blanton.”

Defense attorney Bart Betteau argued Oberhansley’s account was reasonable and the prosecutor hadn’t presented evidence to prove Oberhansley committed the crime.

“You have to be aware that there’s a thought out there that you shouldn’t deliberate on this case (or) take anything I say seriously,” he said. “There might be a thought out there that that’s what people want you to do.

“But you don’t have that luxury. You took an oath,” Betteau said.

Oberhansley faces a possible sentence of life in prison without parole. Prosecutors dropped an attempt to seek the death penalty last year.

Jurors were drawn from Allen County in northeastern Indiana because of the intense media coverage the case has received in the southern part of the state.

West Lafayette
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 38°
Kokomo
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Rensselaer
Overcast
37° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 32°
Fowler
Overcast
37° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 32°
Williamsport
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 32°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
40° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 40°
Frankfort
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
Delphi
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 38°
Monticello
Scattered Clouds
43° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 37°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
43° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 37°
More rainfall ahead.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 162607

Reported Deaths: 4130
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion25871792
Lake14222358
St. Joseph9532166
Elkhart9156137
Allen8552230
Hamilton6335114
Vanderburgh609062
Tippecanoe391815
Porter341650
Hendricks3367134
Monroe333238
Johnson3239130
Delaware307675
Clark303163
Vigo272440
Madison248096
LaPorte236161
Cass228523
Warrick201565
Kosciusko198427
Floyd185868
Howard168466
Bartholomew146958
Dubois145526
Marshall145126
Wayne137931
Henry131330
Grant131039
Boone128050
Hancock123144
Noble121935
Jackson118517
Dearborn101728
Morgan98940
Lawrence94737
Gibson92812
Daviess91334
Clinton90316
Shelby89431
LaGrange82815
Knox81310
Harrison79924
Posey7667
Putnam76616
DeKalb75811
Fayette73918
Jasper6655
Miami6615
Steuben6578
Montgomery62022
White61016
Greene57338
Scott54513
Decatur52539
Adams5237
Whitley4796
Ripley4748
Clay4587
Sullivan45514
Wells44911
Wabash4389
Starke4378
Huntington4365
Orange42125
Spencer4126
Washington3863
Franklin38125
Randolph38110
Jennings37913
Fulton3764
Perry36114
Jefferson3525
Pike34318
Carroll33813
Jay3316
Fountain3193
Tipton28223
Vermillion2681
Parke2504
Newton23611
Blackford2344
Rush2304
Owen2111
Martin2040
Pulaski1753
Crawford1631
Brown1463
Ohio1337
Union1140
Benton1100
Switzerland970
Warren891
Unassigned0236

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events