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Indiana Supreme Court upholds life sentence in murder, cannibalism case

(File Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the life without parole sentence for a southern Indiana man in a case of murder and cannibalism.

The court issued its ruling Wednesday in the case of Joseph Oberhansley.

Oberhansley was convicted of murder and burglary in Clark County for the death of his former partner, Tammy Jo Blanton.

Police arrested Oberhansley in September 2014, accusing him of raping Blanton, stabbing her 25 times, and eating parts of her body.

The state’s highest court rejected Oberhansley’s claims that the jury failed to determine aggravating circumstances in his case, and that he suffered from severe mental illness.

The unanimous opinion found the brutality of the crime and Oberhansley’s criminal history outweighed the impact of his mental illness.

“Likewise, his attack on his girlfriend and mother predated the first recorded signs of psychosis,” Justice Christopher Goff wrote. “Even worse, Oberhansley took methamphetamine on the day of those attacks. We cannot ignore the fact that Blanton is the second partner whom Oberhansley has killed and the third person he has attacked with deadly force. Oberhansley also had a strangulation charge and other charges pending when he committed his latest crimes.”

Oberhansley is currently housed at the New Castle Psychiatric Unit of the Department of Correction, according to online records.

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