Man who "raped, murdered, and ate parts of his ex-girlfriend's body" deemed mentally fit to stand trial after four years
An Indiana man accused of murdering and eating his ex-girlfriend has been deemed mentally fit to stand trial after spending months at a psychiatric facility.
A state psychiatrist revealed on Thursday that an Indiana man accused of raping, murdering, and eating parts of his former girlfriend's dead body is now mentally fit to stand trial.
In October, a judge ruled that 35-year-old Joseph Oberhansley was not competent to stand trial for the 2014 killing of his ex-girlfriend Tammy Jo Blanton and was subsequently committed at the Logansport State Hospital, where he has been held since.
According to prosecutors, back in September 2014, Oberhansley allegedly broke into the Jeffersonville home of Blanton and raped her before stabbing her to death and eating parts of her body.
His defense lawyers said he was not able to participate in his own defense or fully understand the court proceedings, which led the judge to order competency evaluations.
"He is suspicious, paranoid, uncommunicative, and agitated," they wrote, adding that there is a "complete breakdown" in communication between them and their client.
Three doctors then evaluated Oberhansley and deemed him incompetent.
Speaking to the Courier-Journal after the hearing, Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Jeremy Mull said, "This matter has been going on for four years now, and it's high time that the victim's family saw justice done."
Now, Oberhansley's competency has been restored since he was committed to the facility last October to undergo "competency restoration," according to a letter from the psychiatrist filed with Clark County Circuit Court. According to WAVE3, the cold-blooded killer had strange outbursts in some of his early court appearances, telling everyone present his name was Zeus.
"We're proceeding forward under the understanding and the assumption that he is competent to stand trial and participate in these proceedings based upon the medical expert's certification," Mull said.
It's been 4 years since police say Joseph Oberhansley killed his ex and then ate parts of her body. A doctor says he's finally competent to stand trial.— wave3news (@wave3news) August 10, 2018
But his attorneys are delaying the process... >> https://t.co/UzkEIx0cNu pic.twitter.com/V3SDYEik1C
That said, his attorneys requested the judge on Thursday for a month to talk with him and conclusively determine his competency. According to the Courier-Journal, Oberhansley reportedly stood up in court during the hearing and told the judge he needed to fire his attorneys.
"They're trying to control my thoughts," he said in court. "They're trying to control my mind."
However, Judge Vicki Carmichael scheduled another hearing on September 21 to discuss the matter further after telling Oberhansley he needed to work with his attorneys.
Back in 2014, during a police interview, he claimed that two other men killed Blanton and he had nothing to do with it. He even asked the judge to read his letter.
"I'm just so tired of dealing with all this stuff and being locked in this cage," he said. "I just want to be executed."
According to WAVE3, prosecutors previously said they would seek the death penalty for Blanton's gruesome death. Allegedly, Oberhansley was free on parole at the time for a previous killing when he was a teenager.