On Wednesday, a forensic analyst testified that numerous evidence pieces collected in the case against an Indiana man accused of killing his girlfriend in 2014 matched both the suspect and victim’s DNA.
As CrimeOnline reported, Joseph Oberhansley, 39, 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.
Investigators who searched the home said they 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 Oberhansley’s criminal past during questioning by the prosecution.
The second trial started for Oberhansley on Friday, with Mull warning the jury that grotesque details and images would be provided during the trial as evidence.
A forensic scientist and analyst with the Indiana State Police laboratory in Evansville, Nicole Hoffman, testified Wednesday that multiple items found at the crime scene were tested for DNA, including:
- A frying pan
- Kitchen tong
- A dinner plate
- A Knife
- A shirt found on the bathroom floor
Hoffman also testified that “seminal fluid” that matched the suspect was found on the victim in multiple areas, the News and Tribune reports.
Defense lawyer Brent Westerfeld argued whether it was possible to determine if sexual assault actually occurred.
Westerfield: “Simply because you find seminal material doesn’t establish sexual assault, correct?”
Hoffman: “Correct. The results I get from the test do not give any information on…how it got there.”
One of the victim’s friends testified earlier this week that Blanted confided that she had been raped numerous times by the suspect during the week leading up to her death. Prosecutors say he also raped her on the morning of her death.
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[Feature Photo: Tammy Blanton/Handout; Joseph Oberhansley/Police Handout]