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Man can reject insanity defense in ex-girlfriend’s slaying

June 13, 2019

A judge in Jeffersonville has ruled a man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body can reject an insanity defense.

Joseph Oberhansley is accused of killing and mutilating 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton in Jeffersonville in 2014. He faces trial on Aug. 19.

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

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

Defense attorney Brent Westerfeld declined to comment on the ruling Wednesday.

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