US man convicted of murder, cannibalism

Joseph Oberhansley has been convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body.
Joseph Oberhansley has been convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body.

A southern Indiana man accused of killing his former girlfriend and eating parts of her body has been convicted of a murder.

Jurors deliberated for about five hours on Friday before announcing the guilty verdict against Joseph Oberhansley of Jeffersonville in Tammy Jo Blanton's death.

The 46-year-old victim's body was found at her home the morning of September 11, 2014, badly mutilated with more than 25 sharp force injuries and multiple blunt force injuries.

The jury convicted Oberhansley of murder and burglary, but reached a not guilty verdict on rape charges against him..

Oberhansley testified "two black guys" had been at her home when he arrived that day and said they were responsible for Blanton's death and knocking him out. He awoke when police knocked on the door looking for the victim.

Mull asked the jury to consider why the men would have violently killed Blanton but left Oberhansley unconscious without further injury.

"We all know they didn't do that," Mull said.

"We all know Joseph Oberhansley killed Tammy Blanton."

Defence lawyer Bart Betteau argued Oberhansley's account was reasonable and the prosecutor hadn't presented evidence to prove Oberhansley committed the crime.

"You have to be aware that there's a thought out there that you shouldn't deliberate on this case (or) take anything I say seriously," he said. "There might be a thought out there that that's what people want you to do.

"But you don't have that luxury. You took an oath," Betteau said.

Oberhansley faces a possible sentence of life in prison without parole. Prosecutors dropped an attempt to seek the death penalty last year.

Jurors were drawn from Allen County in northeastern Indiana because of the intense media coverage the case has received in the southern part of the state.

Australian Associated Press