JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - The second murder trial for a Clark County man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body has begun in Clark County.
Joseph Oberhansley, 39, is charged with murder, rape and burglary in connection to the 2014 death of Tammy Jo Blanton in her Jeffersonville home.
Last year, a judge declared a mistrial on the first day of Oberhansley’s first trial, when a witness made a comment that was ruled inadmissible. Attorneys filed a motion claiming Oberhansley was incompetent to stand trial, but he was found competent in May.
A jury for this second trial was brought in from Allen County, in northern Indiana.
Since the public isn’t allowed inside the courtroom, the trial will be live-streamed on the Indiana Supreme Court’s website.
The jury heard opening statements Friday morning. Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull explained investigators found in Blanton’s home after her murder. He said in part, “It’s worse than anything you would see in a horror movie.”
Obrehanley’s defense attorneys Bart Betteau and Brent Westerfeld asked the jury to look at the evidence from all sides.
Four witnesses testified during the first day of trial.
Sabrina Hall, one of Blanton’s best friends, lead the testimony. She testified that she called Blanton’s cell when she didn’t show up to work on Sept 11, 2014. She believes Oberhansley picked up Blanton’s phone pretending to be her brother.
Raelyn Mitchal took the stand next. She was the 911 dispatcher that took the call from Blanton the day she was murdered. The prosecutor played the 911 call, however, the quality of the live stream made it difficult to understand the audio.
The day concluded with testimony from the two Jeffersonville police officers who responded to Blanton’s home for a domestic disturbance around 3 a.m., Officer McGee and Corporal Anderson. They each described finding a “very upset” Oberhansley outside of Blanton’s home. They claim she wanted her ex-boyfriend to leave and changed the locks. The officers said they ordered Oberhansley to leave her property and watched his vehicle drive away.
A few hours later, investigators found Blanton murdered in her Jeffersonville home.
The prosecution and defense agreed to take the death penalty off the table if Oberhansley’s attorneys agreed not to use insanity as a defense.
The trial will resume on Monday in Clark County.