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Indiana Man Accused of Cannibalism

Jeffersonville, Indiana man, Joseph A. Oberhansley, 33, is accused of murdering his girlfriend and ultimately eating portions of her corpse. Oberhansley was arrested last Thursday after police came to his girlfriend, Tammy Blanton’s home looking for her as she failed to show up for work. According to news sources, Oberhansley began acting suspicious when police questioned him as to Blanton’s whereabouts. Police observed a fresh cut across Oberhansley’s knuckles during their contact and then patted down Oberhansley for weapons, finding a knife in the accused’s back pocket full of hair and what appeared to be blood. Officers then combed Blanton’s home calling her name only to find her corpse under a vinyl camping tent in her bathtub. Her skull had been crushed from multiple sharp force trauma to her head, neck, and torso. As if things weren’t ugly enough, after an autopsy was performed it is noted that part of Ms. Blanton’s heart, lungs, and brain were missing. Bad for Mr. Oberhansley, the missing body parts will no doubt be used by Prosecutors to correlate with a dinner plate found in the home with what appeared to be skull and bone resting on it and a pair of cooking tongs with blood all over them. That said, it won’t help Mr. Oberhansley’s case that he admitted to police that he removed several of Blanton’s organs and ate them, both cooked and raw.

Ouch. Hard to say much more about this. Unless there is a golden nugget of information regarding this situation unknown at the time of this blog, this Tampa criminal attorney is of the opinion that Mr. Oberhansley is in a bit of trouble. As it stands, he will very likely be charged with Indiana’s first degree murder statute for a premeditated killing of Ms. Blanton. I can’t speak for Indiana but if this case were in Florida, the State would need to prove the following: 1) Ms. Blanton is dead. 2) The death was caused by the criminal act of Mr. Oberhansley, and 3) There was a premeditated killing of Ms. Blanton.

Though this is tragic, the strangest (and grossest) issue is the evidence of cannibalization of his girlfriend. Though Indiana doesn’t appear to have a statute on the books specifically dealing with cannibalism (neither does Florida though he would get charged with abuse of a dead human body against FS 872.06) he will be charged with abuse of a corpse. Again, were this in Florida the State would have to prove that Mr. Oberhansley mutilated, committed sexual abuse upon, or otherwise grossly abused the corpse of Ms. Blanton.

At the end of the day, Mr. Oberhansley claims his name is actually Zeus Brown and that he could not have committed the crimes. His criminal lawyer will likely have a tough time with that defense. All in all this may be an uphill battle for his lawyers in poking holes in the allegations against their client. Very likely this is going to be a case involving an insanity defense based upon the grotesque facts of the allegations and the identity claims by the defendant. Time will tell.

Though we hope you haven’t been charged with eating someone, if you’ve been charged with a crime in the Tampa area, contact Tampa criminal lawyer Jason Mayberry at 813-444-7435 or 727-771-3847 today.