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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.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 665285

Reported Deaths: 12697
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion910581653
Lake48637887
Allen36050641
Hamilton32231398
St. Joseph30243514
Elkhart25484420
Vanderburgh21315382
Tippecanoe20185205
Johnson16425361
Porter16053276
Hendricks15899301
Clark12032182
Madison11779321
Vigo11672231
Monroe10394164
Delaware9879179
LaPorte9821198
Howard9095199
Kosciusko8588111
Bartholomew7504147
Warrick7445153
Hancock7439134
Floyd7255172
Wayne6654192
Grant6453157
Boone611991
Morgan6118126
Dubois5933112
Dearborn550669
Cass5477100
Marshall5446105
Henry542695
Noble510978
Jackson465567
Shelby462591
Lawrence4193113
Gibson404985
Harrison402764
Clinton397053
Montgomery390584
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350638
Huntington348377
Steuben339855
Wabash333076
Putnam331960
Ripley327862
Adams325149
Jasper318443
White298052
Jefferson295974
Daviess285696
Fayette272656
Decatur271388
Greene262280
Posey261432
Wells258975
Scott251450
LaGrange242170
Clay241444
Randolph225877
Spencer219330
Jennings216344
Washington213027
Sullivan203639
Fountain202542
Starke189251
Owen183453
Fulton179637
Jay178528
Carroll176919
Perry173836
Orange171351
Rush165422
Vermillion161542
Franklin159735
Tipton149241
Parke140116
Pike128433
Blackford120627
Pulaski107544
Newton96732
Brown95240
Benton92413
Crawford92113
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54111
Unassigned0434

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