An Indiana man accused of brutally murdering his ex-girlfriend and cutting out parts of her organs with a jigsaw took the stand in his own defense Thursday, telling the court two men broke into Tammy Jo Blanton’s house that day, knocked him unconscious, and killed her, according to WDRB.
Blanton, 46, was found in the bathtub of her Jeffersonville, Indiana, home on September 11, 2014. She had 25 stab wounds and blunt force injuries on her mouth, throat, chest, and fingers.
Joseph Oberhansley, 39, allegedly told detectives that he cooked and ate the parts of her body that he cut out, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Oberhansley’s afternoon testimony came after he twice interjected that a detective’s testimony during the morning as speculation, prompting Clark County Circuit Court Judge Vicki Carmichael to briefly clear the courtroom, WDRB said.
When he took the stand after lunch, Oberhansley told a story he reportedly mentioned as he was led into the courthouse on Friday, the first day of the trial. “I’m not guilty of these charges,” he said, saying two other men were the guilty parties.
Oberhansley said on the stand that the two men were already in Blanton’s house when he arrived, that one of them had a gun, and that he saw one of them stab Blanton with a knife. They knocked him unconscious, he said, and when he woke up, he grabbed a knife because he feared they could still be in the house.
“They stabbed her 25 times … but they only knock you out,” Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said. “Why?”
Oberhansley replied that he didn’t know.
As for his alleged confession, Oberhansley said that after three hours of talking with police, “I just started going along with detectives.”
In that confession, Oberhansley said he broke into Blanton’s home after she changed the locks and kicked in her bathroom door after she locked herself inside trying to get away, prosecutors said. Then he raped her and held her captive while savaging mutilating her, eventually stabbing her to death and using an electric jigsaw to remove parts of her heart, brain, and a lung, which he ate, prosecutors said.
In testimony on Wednesday, a forensic scientist said that DNA found on several items found at the crime scene matched both the suspect and the victim. Those included a frying pan, a kitchen tong, a dinner plate, a knife, various untensils, and a shirt found on the bathroom floor. Additionally, Nicole Hoffman testified that seminal fluid matching the suspect was found on the victim.
Oberhansley’s first trial, in August 2019, was declared a mistrial after a witness for the state brought up his criminal past during questioning by the prosecution.
See previous reporting on the case and check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Tammy Blanton/Handout; Joseph Oberhansley/Police Handout]