A 41-year-old Indiana man convicted of murdering and dismembering his ex-girlfriend before partially eating several of her internal organs is appealing his sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A Clark County jury in September 2020 found Oberhansley guilty on one count of murder and one count of burglary in connection with the horrific murder of his former girlfriend, 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton in her own home in 2014. The jury found him not guilty on one count of rape. He is currently being held at Indiana’s Castle Psychiatric Unit.
At approximately 9:30 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 11, 2014, officers with the Jeffersonville Police Department responded to a call requesting a welfare check at Blanton’s home. Several hours earlier, Blanton had called 911 because an angry Oberhansley was upset about the end of their relationship, refusing to leave her home until ordered by several police officers.
Upon arriving at Blanton’s home, officers knocked on the door and Oberhansley answered. A detective on the scene noticed a cut on Oberhansley’s hand and searched him. In his pocket he had a brass knuckle knife that appeared to have hair and blood on it.
Investigators obtained a warrant for the home and inside the bathroom found a “big bloody mound of something in the bathtub.” It was there that they found Blanton’s body. She had been stabbed several times in the head, neck, and chest.
he took the stand in his own defense, and blamed the crime on two Black men. He said when he went to Blanton’s home, she let him in and then he noticed the men.
“I was catching really bad vibes about the situation because I had never seen them at the house before,” he testified, adding after he saw one of the men stab Blanton, there was a brief scuffle and then he was knocked unconscious.”
Blanton’s body had also been heavily mutilated. The front portion of her skull, a portion of her brain, lung, and most of her heart had also been removed.
During a subsequent interview with police, Oberhansley “revealed to the detectives that he ate Tammy’s brain” and that he also “tried to pull the ‘third eye’ out with tongs,” police wrote. He also admitted to eating the organs that he removed from Blanton.
“There is also no question that Oberhansley was suffering from a severe mental illness when he committed this crime. What there is a question about, however, is whether Tammy would be alive today if Oberhansley were not so severely mentally ill. There are reasons to believe that she would. Because of that, Oberhansley asks this Court to find his sentence of life without parole is inappropriate.”
Oberhansley also told the jurors his confession had been coerced, blaming it on a previous head injury and the detective.
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