An Indiana Judge asserted that the 36-year-old man alleged of killing his fiancée and eating portions of her organs was mentally incompetent after hearing testimony from three doctors who evaluated him.
Clark County Circuit Court Judge Vicki Carmichael deemed Joseph Oberhansley on Wednesday as incompetent after two psychologists and a psychiatrist evaluated him.
All three testified Oberhansley is not competent to be tried at this time.
Prosecutors alleged that Oberhansley broke into the Jeffersonville home of his 46-year-old ex-girlfriend, Tammy Jo Blanton, in September 2014, and that he raped her, stabbed her to death and ate parts of her brain, heart, and lungs.
“I’m embarrassed and outraged by these false charges against me,” Oberhansley told reporters. “I’m innocent and should be released today.”
Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull confirms that, at the time of his arrest, Oberhansley was out of jail and on parole for a conviction for a previous killing that occurred when he was a teenager.
According to reports, Judge Carmichael ordered the competency evaluations after defense attorneys Brent Westerfeld and Bart Betteau filed a motion in February saying Oberhansley wasn’t able to participate in his own defense or fully understand the court proceedings.
“He is suspicious, paranoid, uncommunicative, and agitated,” they wrote, saying there is a “complete breakdown” in communication between them and Oberhansley.
The evaluation reports by psychologists and psychiatrists have been filed under seal, reported the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, which is across the Ohio River from Jeffersonville.
Oberhansley is now in the custody of Indiana’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction.
“He has been ordered committed to a secure facility which will provide competency restoration services to him,” Mull explains.
After three months, the state “will provide a report to the court on the status of his progress. He may, at that point, be remanded back to the court with a certification saying he is competent or the facility could determine he is not competent and won’t be for a while.”
In that case, Mull says Oberhansley “would be committed for a longer period of time for more competency restoration services.”
If he is ever found competent to stand trial, Mull says Oberhansley will be returned to jail so he can be tried for Blanton’s murder.
Mull has already filed paperwork announcing his intent to seek the death penalty for Oberhansley if he’s ever convicted.