Oberhansley not competent to stand trial

A judge says Joseph Oberhansley is not fit to stand trial.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It's a case that stunned Kentuckiana involving Joseph Oberhansley.  He is accused of killing his former girlfriend Tammy Jo Blanton and eating parts of her body in 2014.

Wednesday, a Clark County, Indiana judge ruled Oberhansley is incompetent to stand trail.

"There's no question that the allegations in this case are horrific and again there's no winners here," says Oberhansley's attorney Bart Betteau.

According to Betteau, his client was evaluated by three mental health professionals and they presented their findings to a judge. Now, it's up to the department of mental health to offer treatment and restore his competency to potentially go on trial.

"If his competency is never restored then it’s expected that he will be in the department of mental health indefinitely,” Bettau said.

Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull says he's upset over this latest delay, not just for his case but for the Blantons.

"Seeing what the family goes through, the family of the victim, I know the delays in the case are very hard for them to accept and that's understandable,” Mull said.

Mull told WHAS11, there could now be a three month wait to get Oberhansley to the state hospital. Once there, a report from the facility's director needs to be submitted within 90 days to determine his competency level to stand trial or is he needs more mental health care.

“They say the death penalty should be reserved for the worst of the worst and I can tell you that in my career as a prosecutor, this is one of those worst of the worst cases,” Mull said.

The Blanton family did not speak while in court to hear the Judge's decision on Oberhansley's competency. Prosecutor Mull said it could now be at least six months from now before a complete mental health update is provided.
 

 

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