Joseph Oberhansley trial: ‘There was blood everywhere’

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 6:33 PM EDT
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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - The Jeffersonville man accused of killing and eating his ex-girlfriend’s organs faced his second day on trial in Clark County on Monday. Joseph Oberhansley, 38, is charged with burglary, rape, and murder.

Police said they found Tammy Jo Blanton’s body in her bathtub on Sept. 11, 2014.

Monday, the prosecutor focused on the day of the murder. Nearly 10 witnesses testified, including Blanton’s good friend and the Jeffersonville police officers who responded to a welfare check that day.

When the officers arrived at Blanton’s home that day, two testified to finding what they described as a “nervous” Oberhansley outside. They said he continued to direct the conversation to his car and taking it to his place of employment, a New Albany car dealership. When officers ordered a pat-down, they testified that Oberhansley was non-compliant and was arrested on the property. Officers later found a bloody knife in his pocket.

During the arrest, another officer went inside Blanton’s home. She described damage done to the back door as if someone forced their way in. Inside, she told the jury she found blood throughout the house, a tarp with tools on the ground, and Blanton’s body in the bathtub.

“There was blood everywhere,” she said.

A jury reviewed the evidence found at the scene.

“It’s worse than anything you’d see in a horror movie,” Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said last week.

The photographs of evidence include tools, different rooms of Blanton’s home, as well as a plate, fork, and knife.

Oberhansley is also accused of eating some of Blanton’s organs.

His defense attorney, Bart Betteau, has continued to ask the jury to examine the evidence from all sides.

“We’re going through the evidence the state presented it on direct examination, and we’re bringing up different facets of it,” Betteau said. “It’s still the same evidence but we want the jury to see all facets of that evidence and I think that’s happening.”

Betteau questioned the officer about their protocol when they arrested Oberhansley that day, specifically if it was warranted or not.

“The jury is hearing our side really for the first time,” Betteau said. “I think we’ve counted the state’s evidence completely. So I think things are going perfect.”

Because of COVID-19, the public is not allowed inside the courtroom during the trial. A live stream is available, but recording it is strictly prohibited.

The trial will resume Tuesday in Clark County.

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