Utah police officer recounts convicted killer now accused of cannibalism
JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - High on drugs and unprovoked, Joseph Oberhansley walked into a house, pulled out a gun, shot his girlfriend, his mother and then himself. That was Dec. 9, 1998. Oberhansley and his mother survived, but 17-year-old Sabrina Elder died.
Oberhansley was originally charged with murder, a first-degree felony, but prosecutors agreed to the plea bargain after his mother and grandmother, both eyewitnesses to the crime, and other family members were hesitant to cooperate with the investigation.
"When his mother tried to protect her he shot his mother and then shot himself," Deputy Chief Anita Schwemmer said, who was one of the first responding officers.
Oberhansley pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing Elder and attempted murder for shooting his mother.
Oberhansley suffered brain damage when the bullet entered his frontal lobe, according to court documents.
He was released on parole from a Utah prison in 2012 after a psychological exam, but in 2013 he was in trouble for allegedly choking out another patron in a bar and resisting arrest. Police said Oberhansley was naked during the attack.
Two months ago, Oberhansley was arrested after driving erratically sparking a police pursuit.
On July 23, the woman who police said he would kill and dismember, paid a $1,000 bond to secure his release. And now a man convicted of killing his teenage girlfriend in 1998 is accused of killing - again. Oberhansley, 33, is now accused of killing Tammy Jo Blanton, 46, and eating her organs.
"It's very upsetting because we think of our families. And to think that somebody else was victimized, it's very disheartening to us as law enforcement," Schwemmer said.
Oberhansley is now being held, without bond, in the Clark County Jail.
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