The second murder trial for an Indiana man accused of killing his former girlfriend and eating her heart began Friday in Clark County.
Joseph Oberhansley, 39, claimed innocence upon entering court on Friday, according to ABC 11. As law enforcement brought him into the building, Oberhansley reportedly said two other men were the guilty parties.
“I’m not guilty of these charges,” he said.
As CrimeOnline reported, Oberhansley is accused of killing 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton inside her Jefferson, Indiana, home in 2014. Authorities found Tammy in her bathtub with 25 stab wounds and blunt force injuries on her mouth, throat, chest, and fingers.
Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said during Oberhansley’s first trial that the suspect kicked down Tammy’s bathroom door after she locked herself inside while fleeing from him.
Oberhansley raped the victim, Mull said, then held her captive while he viciously mutilated her.
When Tammy failed to show up to work, police arrived at her home on September 11, 2014, for a welfare check, and found Oberhansley inside. The suspect claimed his ex wasn’t there and said he didn’t know where she could be, according to News and Tribune.
Investigators searched the home, however, and found Tammy’s lifeless body in her bathtub with several parts of her major organs missing.
Police arrested Oberhansley, who later told investigators that he broke into Tammy’s home after she changed the locks, stabbed her to death, then used an electric jigsaw to remove parts of her heart, brain, and a lung, according to prosecutors.
Oberhansley allegedly said he then ate the body parts he cut out.
In August 2019, Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael declared a mistrial after a witness for the state brought up the Oberhansley’s criminal past during questioning by the prosecution.
During opening statements Friday, Mull reiterated the 911 call Blanton made prior to her death.
“‘He’s made me very, very afraid,'” Mull said, recalling what the victim told a 911 dispatcher.
Mull then told the jury that grotesque details and images would be provided during the trial as evidence.
“Photos, horrendous,” he said. “It’s worse than anything you would see in a horror movie.”
Defense attorney Bart Betteau advised the jury to look at the case from all angles and reminded them that the state had to prove its case.
“What we’re going to ask you to do is look at it from all sides,” Betteau said. “When the evidence says this, I want you to step over here and look at it this way.”
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[Feature Photo: Tammy Blanton/Handout; Joseph Oberhansley/Police Handout]