Indiana man who brutally raped, murdered and ate ex-girlfriend's brain, heart and lungs is now planning an insanity plea
Attorneys of Joseph Oberhansley plan to argue at trial, beginning this August, citing that he was insane at the time of the murder
An Indiana man accused of sexually assaulting, stabbing and eating his ex-girlfriend's organs is planning to defend himself by arguing he was insane at the time of the act.
Court documents filed by his attorneys reveal that two psychiatrists will examine Joseph Oberhansley's state of mind to determine whether he was legally insane at the time of the attack four years ago. The same psychiatrists are required to testify at his trial, which is scheduled to begin on August 19.
Prosecutors say the 27-year-old man broke into the house of 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton on September 11, 2014. He raped her, fatally stabbed her and ate parts of her body, including her heart and brain, reported Louisville Courier Journal.
The same publication reported that Blanton had called 911 at around 3 am to report that her former boyfriend was outside her Locust Street home and would not leave. Officers arrived at the scene and ordered Oberhansley to leave. However, the next morning, at around 10 am, the police got another call, from Blanton's co-worker, asking them to perform a welfare check after Blanton failed to show up for work at a billing and coding firm.
When police returned to Blanton's house, they found that the back door was broken down. Inside the house, officers discovered Blanton dead body in a blood-soaked bathroom with fatal injuries to her head, neck and torso. "The front of the victim's skull appeared to have been crushed and brain tissue appeared scattered around the bathtub," the affidavit stated.
Oberhansley has been charged with murder, burglary, and rape and could face the death penalty if convicted.
A judge ruled last November that Oberhansley was competent to stand trial following a 21-month stay at a state psychiatric hospital. In October 2017, Oberhansley was found mentally incompetent after his attorneys said he wasn't able to participate in his own defense or fully understand the court proceedings. "He is suspicious, paranoid, uncommunicative, and agitated," it was stated and that there was a "complete breakdown" in communication between them and Oberhansley.
Previously, he had been classified as having a severe psychological disorder.
During his first hearing days after his arrest, Oberhansley interrupted the proceeding by announcing his name was "Zeus Brown" and told the judge, "You have the wrong guy."
The statement added that police found a plate covered in blood and bone, as well as bloodied cooking utensils, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. When questioned by police, Oberhansley confessed to breaking down the door to the bathroom, where Blanton had locked herself, and repeatedly stabbing her.
A family friend later revealed that Blanton was stabbed 12-to-14 times in the chest and three times in the forehead, and had her throat slashed. Oberhansley told police he used an electric jigsaw to open Blanton's skull and ate parts of her brain, heart and lungs.
Oberhansley was convicted of manslaughter in 1998, shooting his then-girlfriend, 17-year-old Sabrina Elder, in suburban Salt Lake City just days after the birth of their son. Utah discharged him from parole on July 23, and on July 31, Blanton posted $500 bond for him on charges of criminal recklessness and resisting law enforcement stemming from a car chase.