A jury from Fort Wayne was seated Wednesday to hear the case of a southern Indiana man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body in 2014.
Prosecutors and attorneys for Joseph Oberhansley selected the remaining five jurors and alternates needed Wednesday for the Jeffersonville man’s trial on murder, rape and burglary charges in Tammy Jo Blanton’s killing.
Jury selection began Tuesday in northeastern Indiana’s Allen County, but the 12 jurors and four alternates will hear the case against Oberhansley, 39, in southern Indiana’s Clark County, more than 230 miles away.
The court will now make arrangements for their travel to Clark County for the remainder of the trial, with opening statements scheduled to start Friday morning, the News and Tribune reported.
Prosecutors say Oberhansley broke into Blanton’s Jeffersonville home in September 2014, raped her, fatally stabbed the 46-year-old, and ate parts of her body.
Oberhansley was found incompetent for trial in January after evaluations by two psychologists. He was transported to Logansport State Hospital in May after a two-month delay due to COVID-19 restrictions. He was found competent in August to stand trial in September.
Oberhansley had been set to stand trial in August 2019 with a jury drawn from Hamilton County, but a mistrial was declared during the first day of testimony after a state’s witness spoke of things attorneys had agreed would not be mentioned to the jury.
Attorneys tried to select a new jury from Hamilton County, but they found that due to media coverage, many potential jurors already knew details about the case.