Joseph Oberhansley, an Indiana man accused of raping and killing his ex-girlfriend before eating her organs, has been found guilty of burglary and murder six years after the gruesome incident.
Tammy Jo Blanton was found dead in the bathtub of her Jefferson home the morning of Sept. 11, 2014.
Authorities also found Joseph Oberhansley at the residence with a skillet, a bloody pair of tongs and a plate with what appeared to be skull and bones on it nearby.
Police said the 46-year-old victim was raped and stabbed at least 25 times.
On Friday, a jury in Clark County found Oberhansley guilty of murder and burglary, according to WLKY. He was found not guilty of rape.
According to authorities, Blanton had just broken up with her 38-year-old boyfriend shortly before her murder. She was left so terrified of Oberhansley she changed her locks, often checked her windows and put a chair in front of the door.
“I’m taking my life back. I worked too hard to get here. No one will take me down,” she wrote in a text message sent on Sept. 10, 2014.
Hours later, Blanton called 911 in panic, telling the dispatcher that she was “scared, really scared” and that her ex was outside her home trying to break in.
Jeffersonville Police responded and Oberhansley was forced to leave. But when he failed to show up to work the morning of Sept. 11, officers returned to the residence, where they discovered Blanton’s mutilated body covered up by a tarp.
Oberhansley allegedly confessed to the murder that morning, but walked his story back in subsequent interviews with law enforcement, according to the Louisville Courier Journal. Instead, he claimed he discovered two men in the home, who knocked him out and then killed Blanton.
When Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull questioned his story amid his trial earlier this week, Oberhansley could not say why the two men would repeatedly attack Blanton. He also claimed he did not know who consumed her organs.
Oberhansley’s court date was initially set for 2016, but he was ruled incompetent to stand trial the following year. In 2018, the decision was reversed and his trial kicked off in 2019. But testimony from one of Blanton’s friends, Donna Victoria, forced a judge to declare a mistrial.
She said Blanton didn’t call police after an incident between her and Oberhansley because she “didn’t want him to go back to prison,” according to the Journal. Defense attorney Bart Betteau argued the comments about Oberhansley’s past criminal history would prejudice the jurors against his client.
The second trial began on Sept. 11, 2020 — exactly six years after the killing.
This man needs to be locked in a padded cell for the rest of his life.