Lawyers Say Man Who Killed And Ate Ex-Girlfriend Isn’t Competent To Stand Trial

He stands accused of the 2014 murder of his ex, and eating parts of her heart, lungs and brain. 

By Benjamin H. Smith

A South Indiana man accused of brutally murdering his girlfriend and eating parts of her body isn’t competent to stand trial, according to his attorneys. Indiana’s News and Tribune newspaper reports Joseph Oberhansley’s legal team have filed paper work stating the 35-year-old “consistently appeared irrational and expressed bizarre thoughts at hearings."  Oberhansley is to stand trial for murder, rape and abuse of a corpse in the 2014 slaying of his ex-girlfriend, 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton.

When Blanton met Oberhansley, he had already served 14 years in prison for the 1998 killing of his 17-year-old girlfriend and shooting of his own mother. Days after breaking up with him and kicking him out, police found Oberhansley in her apartment after her employer reported her missing. Police noticed signs of a forced entry and an injury on Oberhansley’s hand. When they asked him to submit to a body search, he tried to grab a knuckle knife in his back pocket. According to the arresting officers, it was covered in blood and hair.

According to CBS News, court documents reveal Blanton's mutilated body was found in her bathtub. A medical examiner determined she had died from blunt sharp force trauma to the head, neck and torso. Her skull and chest had been cut open, with the majority of her heart and part of her lungs missing, as was a large section of her brain. In her kitchen were found bloody plates, pans, and utensils with which Oberhansley’s cooked and consumed her missing internal organs.

Upon his arrest, Oberhansley confessed to killing Blanton and eating her body parts, however, he soon recanted. He then told authorities they had the wrong man, as he was actually Zeus Brown, a former NFL player for the Ravens and the Browns, according to WLKY Louisville. He has also claimed to not be a U.S. citizen. The prosecution has been skeptical of his antics, though, in court documents his attorneys  have described him as "suspicious, paranoid, uncommunicative, and agitated whenever he meet[s] with counsel." He is currently being held in a psychiatric unit at an Indiana Department of Correction facility pending further evaluations, and is due back in court on March 8. 

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