Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Inept legal system leads to a second murder for Joseph Oberhansley

Tammy Jo Blanton - Facebook photo
Last Thursday, September  11, Joseph Oberhansley banged on his ex-girlfriend's door, she had changed the locks after an argument. When Oberhansley persisted, Tammy Jo Blanton called police. Police arrived and spoke to Oberhansley, then allowed him to leave.

Later on Oberhansley went back to Blanton's home and demanded to be let in.  When Tammy Jo did not comply, he broke into her back door.  Tammy Jo locked herself in her bathroom, but Oberhansley broke in and stabbed her repeatedly.  According to police documents released Monday, Oberhansley admitted to the fatal stabbing and mutilation of Blanton's body, including cooking and eating some of her organs. The coroner reported a large part of her brain and heart were missing.
 "There was violence done to her body,” says Jeffersonville police officer Todd Hollis. “Officers noticed that immediately."
According to an Indiana police affidavit, the woman was "deceased with a large portion of the front of her skull missing."
Oberhansley was formally charged with murder in the death of Tammy Blanton, 46 on Monday. He also was charged with abuse of a corpse and breaking and entering.

Four days prior to Tammy Jo Blanton's death, Joseph Oberhansley posted this to their shared facebook acct
In 1998, Joseph Oberhansley walked into his grandmother's house and shot the mother of his four day old baby, Sabrina Elder, to death.  When his mother, Brenda Self, jumped up to help Sabrina, Oberhansley shot her as well.  Moments later he turned the gun on himself, and unfortunately, only gave himself a half-assed lobotomy.  Oberhansley, although charged with murder and attempted murder, and after a GUILTY PLEA, was given 15 years for manslaughter.  That's right, manslaughter.   The prosecutor in the Elder case said during Oberhansley's sentencing hearing in 2000 that the shooting followed a two-to three-week drug binge and that he probably wasn't rational at the time.

Fast forward to 13 years later, Oberhansley is given parole.  The usual restrictions apply - no firearms, drugs, or alcohol.

In 2013 Oberhansley should have been back in the Utah prison because he violated conditions of his parole.  While in Indiana, where he moved after being released from prison, Oberhansley was charged with strangling a person and arrested following a high speed chase - he was carrying a gun.

Mistake #1:  Unchecked Parole Violation - A spokesperson from the Utah Board of Pardons, Greg Johnson, said no one from Indiana notified them. He further stated Utah had turned over the tracking of Oberhansley to Indiana’s parole agency. He said it was their responsibility to notify Utah if there were any violations.

Mistake #2: Low bond - An Indiana prosecutor, aware Oberhansley had violated his Utah parole, was able to get a $25,000 cash only bail placed on him.  Another prosecutor, for whatever reason, met with Oberhansley's attorney and signed off on a $500 bail.  The bail was paid and Oberhansley moved in with Tammy Jo Blanton, his girlfriend at the time.  The deal-making prosecutor has resigned.

Mistake #3:  Tammy Jo Blanton should have run a background check on this man before allowing him to move in (although she may have already known of his past, that part is unclear).

Mistake #4: Lazy police - Police, knowing Oberhansley had murdered his ex-girlfriend and on parole for the crime, should have thrown him in jail the night Tammy Jo Blanton called them to her home.

Joseph Oberhansley 1998 (L) and 2014 (R)