Judge rules man accused of murderer can bar insanity defense

Updated 6/12/2019 9:33 PM

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. -- An Indiana judge has ruled man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body can reject insanity defense.

Joseph Oberhansley is accused of killing and mutilating 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton in Jeffersonville in 2014. He has a jury trial scheduled for Aug. 19.


Oberhansley on May 31 filed a motion to withdraw the insanity defense, which defense attorneys promoted in January. The 38-year-old Oberhansley told the judge he felt using the insanity defense would admit guilt and is unlikely to work.

In a ruling filed Tuesday, Clark County Circuit Court Judge Vicki Carmichael used related case law to support her finding on the importance of allowing a defendant to make decisions on key elements of their case.

Defense attorney Brent Westerfeld declined to comment on the ruling Wednesday. Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said the judge's ruling was solid.

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