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An Indiana man accused of killing and cannibalizing his ex-girlfriend cast blame on two mysterious men for the crime as he represented himself at his own murder trial.
Joseph Oberhansley, 38, is accused of raping and killing his former girlfriend Tammy Jo Blanton, who was discovered dead in the bathtub of her Jeffersonville home on Sept. 11, 2014. When she was found, a portion of her skull was missing and some of her vital organs were removed. Blanton had been stabbed 25 times and died of sharp force injuries to the face and body.
Oberhansley has always maintained his innocence, and since 2014 has claimed that two other men killed his ex.
He spoke about those two mystery men in court this week as he represented himself at his murder trial, which kicked off last week. Oberhansley took the stand Thursday and claimed that the two men were at his ex’s home when he arrived that day, WDRB reports. He said he witnessed one of the men stabbing Blanton before the pair knocked him unconscious, and that when he awoke, he grabbed a knife out of fear.
"They stabbed her 25 times...but they only knock you out," prosecutor Jeremy Mull pointed out in court. He asked, "Why?"
Oberhansley replied that he didn’t know.
The alleged cannibal conceded he previously confessed to killing Blanton but claimed he “just started going along with detectives” at some point.
During a recorded police interview, Oberhansley admitted to eating Blanton’s heart, stating, “It's part of me now."
Investigators claim that dishware in the home possessed evidence that Oberhansley had eaten some of Blanton’s organs. Dr. Darius Arabadjief, a forensic pathologist, testified Wednesday that most of Blanton’s brain, heart, and part of a lung were missing, The News and Tribune reports.
These developments are just the latest in the bizarre saga of this case. The new trial is the second attempt of its kind, as a mistrial was declared in 2019. In that instance, a prosecution witness talked about Oberhansley's criminal history and drug use on the stand.
As a teenager, Oberhansley was convicted of manslaughter for killing his 17-year-old girlfriend while high on meth, according to a 2014 Courier Journal report. He then shot his own mom before shooting himself in the face. Later, he told a parole board that the bullet lodged inside him had calmed his rage. He was out on parole for those crimes when Blanton was killed.
During a pre-trial court appearance for her murder, he referred to himself as Zeus. He was initially deemed incompetent to stand trial in 2017 as a result, but the decision was later overturned and his first trial began in 2019.
Oberhansley is fighting charges of murder, rape, abuse of a corpse, and burglary. If convicted, he faces life behind bars.
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