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Man who killed girlfriend, shot mother released from prison Tuesday

Man who killed girlfriend, shot mother released from prison Tuesday



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — A tragic story of a man who killed his girlfriend, then shot his mother and attempted suicide turns another page on Tuesday.

It happened in December 1998: then 17-year-old Joseph Oberhansley shot his girlfriend multiple times. She had given birth to their child days before her death. He also shot his mother, then attempted suicide. He later plead guilty to the crimes.

A 30-year-old Oberhansley will walk out of jail Tuesday, having served 13 years of a possible 15-year sentence for the guilty plea.

Oberhansley's case has gone relatively silent in the 13 and a half years since his arrest and conviction for killing his girlfriend, nearly killing his mother and pulling the gun on himself. Attempts to reach out to family members were not returned, and an interview with Oberhansley himself was denied.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole released a statement Monday about the impending release.

"The decision to set the offender's parole date was made in 2004 following his original hearing," it reads in part. "He had taken full responsibility for his crimes, was programming at the prison, and was well-behaved."

Oberhansley's attorney said after his conviction that numerous tragedies in his family led to the assault.

At hearings for the case, Oberhansley's attorney argued his client had suffered through tragic deaths of his father and brother-in-law. And the brain injuries he sustained during the suicide attempt made him more calm.

Oberhansley will be a free man on Tuesday.

Andrew Wittenberg

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