Indiana man mentally fit to stand trial over murder of his ex-girlfriend

An Indiana man accused of murdering and eating his ex-girlfriend has been deemed mentally fit to stand trial after spending months at a psychiatric facility.

Joseph Oberhansley, 36, had initially been found mentally incompetent in October last year following the 2014 death of his former girlfriend Tammy Jo Blanton.

He has been undergoing treatment in a mental health facility since January.

Oberhansley recently returned to prison after a psychiatrist determined in July that his mental competency had been restored.

At a pre-trial hearing last week, Oberhansley’s lawyers asked the judge to delay his trial for a month so they can form their own opinion about his mental health.

The judge will have the final say on whether the competency ruling will be upheld, the News and Tribune reports.   

Oberhansley is accused of breaking into his 46-year-old ex’s home four years ago and raping her. 

He then allegedly stabbed Blanton to death and then ate parts of her body. 

The judge ordered the competency evaluations last year after his defense attorneys said he 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. 

He was deemed incompetent after three doctors evaluated him. 

Previously, he had been classified as having a severe psychological disorder 

Oberhansley was ordered to undergo ‘competency restoration’ treatments in an effort to try him at a later time.

He is charged with murder, rape and abuse of a corpse.

 

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