An Indiana man accused of raping and murdering his ex-girlfriend before eating parts of her organs in 2014 has been deemed mentally competent to stand trial by a state psychiatrist, PEOPLE confirms.
“The family was absolutely devastated … and the family strongly desires that the matter be tried as soon as possible and they are able to get a resolution to this,” Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Jeremy Mull tells PEOPLE.
On July 24, a psychiatrist at the Logansport State Hospital, where Joseph Oberhansley, 36, had been remanded in January, wrote a letter to the court declaring the suspect’s competency had been restored during his stay there, says Mull.
The declaration reversed the 2017 decision by Judge Vicki Carmichael, on the recommendation of mental health professionals, that Oberhansley was not mentally competent to stand trial.
Attorneys for Oberhansley, of Jeffersonville, can still contest the psychiatrist’s opinion before his trial begins, says Mull.
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Oberhansley is now being held at the Clark County Jail, PEOPLE confirms.
During a court hearing last Thursday, Oberhansley told Carmichael he wanted to fire his attorneys because “they’re trying to control my thoughts,” the Courier-Journal reports.
In a letter he asked the judge to read, Oberhansley wrote, “I’m just so tired of dealing with all this stuff and being locked in a cage. I just want to be executed,’ ” the outlet reports.
Oberhansley is accused in the September 2014 fatal stabbing of Blanton in her Jeffersonville home.
After his arrest, Oberhansley allegedly confessed to consuming parts of Blanton’s brain, heart, and lungs, Mull previously told PEOPLE.
Defense attorney Brent Westerfeld did not immediately return PEOPLE’s call for comment but told the Courier-Journal his client’s words during the hearing “stand for themselves.”
Oberhansley drew attention in early court appearances with his outbursts and claims that his name was Zeus.
Oberhansley is charged with murder, burglary, and rape and faces up to the death penalty if convicted.