Amber Hilberling, an Oklahoma woman convicted of pushing her husband from their 25th-story apartment, killed herself in prison Monday, NY Daily News is reporting. The 25-year-old woman who was convicted for the second-degree murder of her husband, Joshua Hilberling, under three hours by a jury was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2013.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, guards found the Oklahoma woman unresponsive at the Mabel Correctional Center in Mcloud, around 5:30 p.m. She was certified dead 10 minutes later. The cause of death has not been confirmed by authorities, but a Facebook page dedicated to her husband, a former Air Force man, said she had hanged herself.
Hilberling was seven months pregnant when she pushed her husband out of their high-rise apartment after a domestic dispute in June 2011. The 25-year-old had said she did not intend to kill her husband and blamed the frail window glass for not stopping him plunging to his death below. Josh Hilberling fell down 17 stories, landing on a parking garage roof.
Amber had refused a plea deal that would have only kept her behind bars for only five years. Hilberling, who said she had been abused all through her 11-month marriage, insisted that she was only defending herself. The 25-year-old appeared in a Dr. Phil televised prison interview in February revealing that her husband had flown into a rage after she called him a coward.
Dr. Phil had traveled to see Amber Hilberling and used his psychological skills to prod her about what really happened that night. Amber had opened up on allegations of domestic abuse and her attorney’s little experience with criminal cases.
She pointed out that she had an ugly altercation with her late husband that went awry and had injuries to prove it. She insisted she never intended to push her husband out of the high-rise window.
“No, I didn’t. The injuries that were shown in the pictures speak for themselves. There was an altercation in which I defended myself.”
Dr. Phil unearthed an incident from Joshua Hilberling’s Air Force file where authorities said he allegedly threw a plate at his wife and attempted to forcefully burst one of his wife’s breast implants. According to Amber, she said her husband was dismissed from the force because of drug-related issues.
When she was queried about why she did not report the 11-month abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband, she said she loved him too much to leave, which made it incomprehensible why people would think she preferred to kill him instead.
“I loved Josh very much. I stayed with him for as long as I could. They painted me as a monster. It was breaking my heart just to have him leave. So to intend to kill somebody that you love, that much, it couldn’t be plausible.”
According to Amber Hilberling, attorney Jasen Corns made it easy for the prosecuting attorney to successfully pin a conviction on her.
“My parents tried to get me several times over the course of the two years that we were fighting the case to fire him because they didn’t believe that he was competent.”
Corns would later give up his law license after an Oklahoma Bar Association probe uncovered that he had accepted over $1 million in loans and gifts from an elderly client in 2010.
Shortly after the fall and while she was in police custody, Amber Hilberling, speaking to her grandmother, had said her in-laws were right to say that if she had remained with her husband, she was going to kill him. She did not know a camera in the interrogation room captured the exchange at the time. The footage would later be used to convict her.
In the closing arguments of the trial, prosecutors had alleged that the 25-year-old woman had pushed her husband out of the window because he was leaving her. Joshua Hilberling’s family testified at Amber’s trial in 2013 that he had packed his bags and called it quits on the marriage.
Members of the jury were shown a protective order that Joshua had obtained a month prior to his death. Amber had allegedly thrown a lamp at his head which required stitches.
Bryan Whitlock does not want authorities to treat his stepdaughter’s death as a suicide. He insists that it was simply impossible for Amber to have taken her life when she was excited about doing an interview with a TV station and loved speaking to her son, Levi, every day.
[Featured Image by Oklahoma Department of Corrections]