‘The heart was eaten’: Man accused of killing and eating girlfriend faces life in prison

mugshot_1566512738925_7610621_ver1.0_1280_720Joseph Oberhansley is facing life in prison without parole. (Clark County Sheriff’s office)

– As the murder trial for Joseph Oberhansley, 38, began on Wednesday, prosecutors went into grisly details recounting the stalking, rape and murder of Oberhansley’s girlfriend just before Oberhansley allegedly cut open her chest and ate her heart and brain.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, in September 2014, Joseph Oberhansley, 38, left the dismembered body of Tammy Jo Blanton, 46, in a bathtub in her Jeffersonville home with multiple stab wounds and blunt-force injuries just days after she broke up with him and changed her locks.

Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull told jurors Wednesday during opening statements that “Joseph Oberhansley butchered Tammy Blanton like you wouldn’t kill a livestock animal.”

Mull showed the jury a videotaped interview in which Oberhansley told police that Blanton “really wasn’t all that scared, surprisingly,” as if she knew she was about to die.

Carmichael is facing life in prison without parole. Prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty so long as Oberhandley’s attorneys don’t use insanity as a defense.

However, while the defense was not allowed to present evidence pertaining to Oberhansley’s sanity, his defense attorneys argued whether or not someone who “eats the brain and heart of his ex-girlfriend is thinking right.”

“Her chest had been cut open. The heart was removed. The heart was eaten,” said Oberhansley’s defense attorney Bart Betteau.

On Thursday, Clark County Circuit Judge Vicki Carmichael declared a mistrial after a witness called by prosecutors on the first day of testimony brought up the defendant’s past drug use and time in prison.

Carmichael said that information could have prejudiced the jury.

According to the Journal, the witness was a close friend of Blanton said that Blanton had told her in a previous conversation that drugs motivated him to commit the gruesome acts.

“A simple admonishment to disregard (the comments) would be insufficient and certainly would not clear the prejudices created by the witness’ testimony,” said Carmichael.

The jury had been selected in Hamilton County, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) north of Jeffersonville, which is a suburb of Louisville, Kentucky.

A new court date set for Sept. 3. A new jury will need to be selected.

 

 

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Witness: Woman, 3 children found dead in car in Syracuse; Mayor, other officials on scene

WHYYBIWV6JB4NFRGZCMPGEK2OUA hazardous material squad at Berwyn Avenue in Syracuse on Sunday, July 7, 2019.

 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – A woman and three children were found dead in a car in Syracuse on Sunday, according to a man who found the bodies.

Police and firefighters are on the scene at Berwyn Avenue but have not confirmed the deaths at this time.

Syracuse Fire Chief Michael Monds, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Syracuse Police Chief Kenton T. Buckner are all on the scene.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick this afternoon confirmed to Syracuse.com | The Post-Standard that a woman and 2-3 children had been found dead on Berwyn Avenue.

The discovery of the bodies has left “everyone pretty shook up,” said Fitzpatrick, referring to the witnesses and first responders.

John Crane, a tow truck driver for Epolito’s Towing Company, told Syracuse.com | The Post-Standard this afternoon he found the bodies and called 911.

“It was bad,” he said at the scene.

He said he was called to pick up a Zipcar (ride share) vehicle on Berwyn Avenue when he found the bodies in the car. He said he saw no visible injuries.

Syracuse police and firefighters have shut down Berwyn Avenue, a short street off of East Colvin Street near Interstate 81 and not far from Syracuse University’s Lampe Athletics Complex/Manley Field House.

A fire department hazardous materials truck is on the scene. Other police and fire trucks are on the scene.

Firefighters and police got the call to respond to the street at 1:47 p.m.

Quintin Coleman, a neighbor, said police told him that three kids and a woman were dead.

He said he’s seen the woman in the neighborhood but she kept to herself. He’d never seen a car in the driveway until he saw the Zipcar, a silver Ford Focus, parked in the driveway on July 4.

“She just kept to herself,” Coleman said. “You’d see her bringing her kids to the bus stop when school was in.”

After the discovery and talking to police, Crane stayed on scene, sitting in his red tow truck with the driver’s side door open.

He could be seen holding his head in his hands, recounting what happened to neighbors and smoking a cigarette.

We are on the scene and will update this report as soon as more information becomes available.

Man charged with murder for punching newborn son after losing video game

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A man has been charged with murder after police said he punched his one-month-old son in the head out of frustration over losing a video game.

The baby was initially listed in serious condition but later succumbed to their injuries, according to LMPD.

According to an arrest slip, Anthony Trice was home alone watching the child when he was playing video games. Trice started losing the game and became frustrated, throwing the controller and the punching his son in the head.

After punching the infant, police said Trice picked him up to try to quiet him and while carrying him into the kitchen, dropped the child.

Later, Trice made his son a bottle, set him upright and left him unattended to go to the bathroom. When he came back, he noticed the baby was in distress and called 911.

The boy was taken to Norton Children’s Hospital where he later died.

Trice has been charged with murder.

 

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Men linked to Mexican drug cartel behead 13-year-old special needs girl, murder grandmother

Dh6-g3AU8AEvRvzTwo men are accused of beheading a teenager with special needs and her grandmother. (Image source: WAAY-TV screenshot)

 

Two men loosely associated with a brutal Mexican cartel, one of whom is an illegal immigrant, are responsible for beheading a 13-year-old girl with special needs and murdering her grandmother, Alabama law enforcement allege.

What are the details?

Authorities say Yoni Aguilar and Israel Gonzalez Palomino murdered Oralia Mendoza and her granddaughter, Mariah Lopez, because they didn’t trust Mendoza after she exhibited suspicious activity during a recent drug running trip to a small town in northeast Atlanta.

Authorities say the group ran drugs for the Sinaloa Cartel, the largest organized crime syndicate in the world. Police say it was Mendoza who had deep connections to the cartel.

According to AL.com, authorities believe something went wrong during their trip, spurring Palomino to believe he was being setup. Upon returning to Huntsville, Palomino discovered Mendoza had removed the SIM card from her cellphone. He also discovered text messages to an unknown woman during the drug run. Police say Mendoza texted a woman asking her to secure Lopez, who was staying with Palomino’s wife, because she feared for their lives, WAAY-TV reported.

After discovering the messages, Aguilar and Palomino allegedly awoke Mendoza in the middle of the night on June 4. They told her they were taking her and Lopez to a safe location.

Instead, the two men took their captives to a cemetery. Police say there was an altercation between Palomino and Mendoza. After it escalated, police say Palomino pulled a knife and stabbed Mendoza, leaving her to die in the cemetery.

The men then drove about 2 miles down the road, where police say Palomino forced Aguilar to kill Lopez by beheading her. Law enforcement said Palomino decided Lopez needed to die because she was a witness to her grandmother’s murder.

Police began investigating the murders on June 7 after a local boy discovered Lopez’s body. After police released a description of the girl, a woman came forward claiming to be Lopez’s mother and Mendoza’s daughter, AL.com reported. Authorities were then able to positively identify Lopez’s body.

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After Lopez was identified, Aguilar and Palomino were quickly identified as suspects. Police took the men into custody, and after being interviewed separately, investigators gathered enough evidence to charge them with Lopez’s murder.

According to AL.com, Aguilar confessed to the crimes, which helped investigators finally locate Mendoza’s body at the cemetery on June 15.

Police have charged the men with capital murder. They are being held without bond.

What evidence do investigators have against the men?

In addition to Aguilar’s confession, which he again made in court last Thursday, authorities have a wealth of physical evidence against the two men.

AL.com reported:

Aguilar and Palomino’s cellphones pinged in the area during the time of the killings, Rutherford testified. Investigators also recovered two knives, believed to be the murder weapons. One was found under Aguilar’s mattress; the other was under Palomino’s mattress, Rutherford told the judge. Additionally, blood was found inside Palomino’s car, the investigator testified.

What are the suspect’s immigration statuses?

Authorities said Aguilar is an illegal immigrant, while Palomino is in the U.S. on a green card, according to WAAY. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told the Atlanta Constitution-Journal they had placed a detainer on Aguilar.

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NY Gov. Cuomo refuses to sign state budget until lawmakers approve bill legalizing abortion for any reason until birth!!

Hillary Clinton was alongside the governor when he delivered a pro-abortion speech earlier this week.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has refused to sign the state’s 2019-20 budget until lawmakers approve a bill that would make it legal to have an abortion for any reason up until birth, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported.

On Monday, Cuomo delivered a pro-abortion speech at Barnard College in Manhattan, where he vowed not to support the budget until the Legislature passes the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act. Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and presidential candidate, stood alongside the governor at the event.

The 61-year-old Democrat also vowed during his speech to push an amendment to enshrine abortion in the state constitution. Cuomo first called for the constitutional amendment last year.

What does the Reproductive Health Act say?

Currently, only licensed physicians are allowed to perform an abortion, and only up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

“Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child or have an abortion,” the Reproductive Health Act reads.

If approved, any licensed health care provider acting in “good faith” would be able to perform an abortion at any time up until birth.

Abortion would also be removed as a crime from the state’s penal code.

The bill has passed the Democrat-controlled assembly in the past, according to the Rochester Democrat. However, it stalled in the Republican-led Senate for more than a decade.

Democrats gained Senate majority after the 2018 midterm elections.

“This is only the beginning of the protections that we will have for our women, for our environment, criminal-justice reform, education — the list goes on,” state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins said Monday, according to the report. “But in January, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we will make our statement, we will make our mark.”

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Stewart-Cousins first sponsored the Reproductive Health Act in 2007.

What about enshrining abortion in the NY Constitution?

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has a conservative majority, some pro-abortion lawmakers and activists fear Roe v. Wade could someday be overturned.

The bill to enshrine federal abortion rights would require a separate vote and approval by the Legislature to start the amendment process. The 2021 Legislature would also have to approve it before it could be sent to voters, who would have to pass the measure before it would become law.

What did Clinton say?

Clinton praised the governor for pushing for abortion protections, describing him as a “lifelong champion of these rights,” according to the Rochester Democrat.

“New York led the rest of the country even before Roe v. Wade in making abortion legal,” Clinton said during her speech.

“But the struggle for women’s equality is not something simply to be read about in the pages of your history books,” Clinton said. “It continues to be the fight of our lifetime.”

What about pro-life activists?

The Reproductive Health Act would remove protections for women if criminal penalties are removed for illegal abortions.

“A real concern is that if you take abortion out of the criminal code, what happens in instances of domestic violence where men abuse the women they are sharing living spaces with,” Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, told the Rochester Democrat.

“And we know there are heightened instances of domestic violence cases during pregnancy.”

Feminists Choosing Life of New York described the bill as”opposite of pro-woman,” in a statement.

FCNLY denounced the legislation in six letters it submitted to the New York Times in response to “A Woman’s Rights,” an op-ed published Dec. 28.

“One point of opposition is the heinous legalization of abortion during the second and third trimester of pregnancy through the inclusion of a broad health exception allowing women to abort viable fetuses for essentially any reason; including economic or familial health,” Kelly Brunacini, a member of the group’s board of directors, wrote in one of the letters posted on FCNLY’s website.

“The vast majority of Americans, including in New York, oppose these late-term abortions. As a New Yorker, Democrat and feminist, I can’t help but wonder what history will say about a people who allowed the legalized killing of fully formed human beings for the sake of exerting political dominance.”

The group’s letters have gone unpublished, according to FCNLY.

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Cyntoia Brown’s case back in the spotlight after Rihanna, Kim Kardashian West speak out

Wendy Tucker rubs Cyntoia Brown’s back during closing arguments in her trial in Nashville, Tenn. Brown received a life sentence for the murder of Johnny Mitchell Allen, Aug. 25, 2006.

When Cyntoia Brown was 16, she shot and killed a man who had allegedly hired her for sex. She was tried as an adult, convicted of first-degree murder and given a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole only after 51 years.

Now, her case is back in the spotlight thanks to social media posts by celebrities calling for her release. Advocates say they are hoping the renewed attention helps them argue that Brown should be eligible for parole sooner.

“We have been very, very surprised. The entire team, as well as Cyntoia, obviously had no idea that this was going to happen or why it happened, and she is very appreciative of the support from everyone,” Charles Bone, Brown’s attorney, told ABC News. “It is about her, but it’s also about the issues, and I think that’s what she feels strongly about. The issues of sex trafficking and sex slavery and juvenile justice all need a lot of attention throughout the world but especially here in Tennessee.”

Cyntoia Brown was convicted of first-degree murder in 2006, when she was 16.

Brown was convicted of first-degree murder in 2006 after she shot and killed Johnny Michael Allen, a 43-year-old man who had allegedly hired her for sex. She was forced into sex with other men by 24-year-old Garion “Cut Throat” McGlothen and had experienced physical and sexual abuse, according to an amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by her attorneys in 2015. McGlothen died in 2005.

Brown has already spent more than a decade behind bars, but Bone said the renewed attention comes as he is preparing to argue her case before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in early 2018.

“The court will be asked by our team to consider the constitutionality of the 51-year sentence for a child,” Bone said. “That’s been the issue we have felt for all these years needs to be considered by the courts. We haven’t been successful yet, but we are hopeful the 6th Circuit will consider our appeal on a favorable basis.”

Marsha Levick, the deputy director and chief counsel of the nonprofit Juvenile Law Center, said Brown is far from the only juvenile offender to have received a harsh sentence.

“My hope for cases like Cyntoia’s is to just literally try to change the paradigm,” Levick told ABC News. “When someone is a child, when someone has had the experiences Cyntoia had, our system needs to be able to reflect that and to recognize that. Otherwise, I think we lose our sense of humanity.”

In this Dec. 18, 2015 photo, inmate Cyntoia Brown of the Tennessee Prison for Women delivers a commencement address before receiving her associate degree from Lipscomb University.

Brown was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder in 2012, according to her attorney. At the time she shot Allen, “her exposure to alcohol poisoning in utero left her with a damaged brain which caused her to experience the world through the mind of a 10-year-old child,” according to the habeas corpus petition. She had also been abandoned and later kidnapped by her biological mother, suffered physical and sexual abuse and was forced “into a life of prostitution,” the writ of habeas corpus states. In 2009, the Supreme Court of Tennessee upheld her conviction.

But two U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2010 and 2012 have changed how juveniles can be sentenced. In 2010, the court prohibited sentencing juveniles to life without the possibility of parole for non-homicide offenses. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that 8th amendment prohibits sentencing juvenile offenders to life in prison without the possibility of parole for any offense.

Those two decisions are among the reasons Bone believes Brown’s case should be reconsidered.

But Jeff Burks, who prosecuted Brown, told FOX17 in Nashville last week that he disagrees.

“There has been a group of people who have wanted to make Ms. Brown a victim and a celebrity since this happened,” Burks wrote to Fox 17 News. “She was not ‘trafficked’ nor was she a ‘sex slave.’ It’s not fair to the victim and his family that the other side of this case is so seldom heard.”

Burks did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Although she has been incarcerated since her arrest in August 2004, her case first received widespread attention after the release of a 2010 documentary, “Me Facing Life: The Cyntoia Brown Story.” Bone said he began representing her pro-bono the same year after seeing the documentary.

Her story is now back in the spotlight after singer Rihanna posted about Brown’s case on Instagram earlier this week and other celebrities followed suit, including Kim Kardashian West, rapper TI and basketball player LeBron James.

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Chelsea Clinton thanks abortion for being good for the economy

The Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide, has been great for the economy, says Chelsea Clinton.

The number of women entering the workforce has exploded since the early 1970s, she explained this weekend. These women are responsible for adding about $3.5 trillion to the U.S. economy.

Roe v. Wade was also decided in the early 1970s. You do the math.

“Whether you fundamentally care about reproductive rights and access right, because these are not the same thing, if you care about social justice or economic justice, agency – you have to care about this,” Clinton said Saturday at a “Rise Up for Roe” event.

She added, “It is not a disconnected fact … that American women entering the labor force from 1973 to 2009 added three and a half trillion dollars to our economy. Right? The net, new entrance of women – that is not disconnected from the fact that Roe became the

“So, I think, whatever it is that people say they care about, I think that you can connect to this issue,” Clinton continued.

She added, “Of course, I would hope that they would care about our equal rights and dignity to make our own choices – but, if that is not sufficiently persuasive, hopefully, come some of these other arguments that you’ve expressed so beautifully, will be.”

A couple of thoughts:

First, I thought it wasn’t about the money. I thought it was about choice and personal autonomy. Clinton’s focus here on the supposed economic benefits of Roe is unsettling. To endorse it as a money-generator is one step away from endorsing termination-for-profit. And why not? If Roe added $3.5 trillion to the economy, then let’s up those numbers! Let’s do it and be rich! If personal profit is the real game – well, at least Clinton is being honest. So much for safe, legal, and rare.

Second, there may be a correlation between the $3.5 trillion added to the U.S. economy and the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, b ut it’s not a clear-cut thing.

While we’re here, let’s talk more about the drain that the average cost of obtaining an abortion ( $300 – $800) has been on the U.S economy. Let’s talk also about the cost of eliminating an estimated 60 million persons from the national workforce.

Let’s have those conversations.