Man accused of killing Jeffersonville woman should not have been - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Man accused of killing Jeffersonville woman should not have been loose, prosecutor says

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Joseph Oberhansley (Source: Clark County Jail) Joseph Oberhansley (Source: Clark County Jail)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Jeffersonville woman was found murdered Thursday, and officials say her killer should have been in jail. So why wasn't he?

One prosecutor says this could have been prevented.

We had questions Friday morning for the Clark County Prosecutor's office -- including why 33-year-old Joseph Oberhansley was out of jail.

"This person should have been in jail," said Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull. "I tried to keep him there."Here's the background on 33-year-old Joseph Oberhansley: In 1998, when he was 17, he killed his girlfriend and shot his mom. He was convicted of attempted murder and manslaughter.

He was released two years ago for those crimes.

Jeffersonville Police were called to the victim's home for a welfare check. Police say when they knocked on the door, Oberhansley answered the door.  

"Due to his behavior and his interaction with the police, they did ultimately end up patting him down and finding a knife on this person," said Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor, Jeremy Mull.

When police walked into the house, they found the victim dead in the bathtub, with tents constructed over part of her body. Mull said police observed part of her skull was missing. Police also noticed other stabbing wounds on her body.

Police arrested Oberhansley Thursday and charged him with murder after the body of 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton was discovered inside her home on Locust Street in Jeffersonville. But Mull says he fought to keep Oberhansley in jail earlier this summer, when he was accused of strangling a man and leading Jeffersonville police on a chase in two separate incidents.

"As a prosecutor, I look at an individual who is charged with a crime and I try to determine what bond is appropriate to keep the community safe," Mull said. "I determined very firmly that it was necessary that it should be high, based on what I knew about him."

So what happened?

Mull had set the bond this summer for $25,000, full cash. Mull says that, without his knowledge, another prosecutor and defense attorney came to an agreement, and presented it to a judge, who signed it. That agreement was a bond of $5,000, with release upon payment of 10 percent.

Oberhansley paid $500 to get out of jail just months ago.

We've reached out to the Clark County Prosecutor's Office to get questions answered, including who the prosecutor is who reached this agreement, and why that prosecutor would have agreed to those terms. As for charges from yesterday's murder, Mull hopes to have Oberhansley in court today to be arraigned.

There will be an autopsy later today to learn more about how Blanton was killed. Authorities say she suffered some kind of violent trauma. 

Mull says it's devastating as a prosecutor to fight to keep somebody that you feel is dangerous in jail, only to have that undone without knowing about it.

Autopsy results show multiple sharp-force injuries

Clark County Coroner Terry Conway released the preliminary findings of the autopsy report for Blanton. The cause of death according to the State of Kentucky Medical Examiner's Office states Tammy Jo Blanton died as a result of multiple sharp force injuries to the head, neck, and torso. Further details will be released upon completion of the official report. 

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