The case of

Joshua Hilberling

Victim

Joshua Hilberling

Victim Race

Caucasian

Victim Date of Birth

1991-10-01

Victim Age
Date Reported
Date of Death

2011-06-07

Case Status

Closed

Incident Location

Mcloud, Oklahoma

Body Location
Date of Conviction

2011-06-07

Body Discovered Date
Murderer

Amber Hilberling

Who is Amber Hilberling?

At the time of the murder, Amber Hilberling was a 19 year old wife of 23 year old Josh Hilberling, an air force veteran. They had been married for about a year and she was 7 months pregnant at the time of the incident.

The relationship between the couple was described as volatile and toxic by their family members. With Josh having been kicked out of the air force due to drug abuse, according to Amber, he was getting deeper into that lifestyle when they moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma and into an apartment in the University Club Tower. The drugs are the reason Amber gives for a lot of the fighting that occurred between the couple leading up to the tragic incident on 7th June 2011.

Murder and Investigation

It is not certain exactly what happened that day that led to Amber pushing Josh and him subsequently falling through the window and plummeting to his death. Stories have changed a couple of times and it is hard to pinpoint which is the truth. Whether it was self defence or a premeditated act, either way we know Amber pushed Josh and this resulted in him hitting and breaking the window.

Josh Hilberling fell through a window on the 25th floor of the University Club Tower and landed on the 8th floor parking level of the tower, falling a total of 17 floors. When officers arrived on the scene they were met with a gruesome picture, one officer described how falling that distance broke Hilberling’s body so much that he looked more like a pile of clothes.

The responding officers were also met with Amber, who had made her way down to Josh’s body by the time the police had arrived. She had already made a phone call, although not to the emergency services, the call had been to her grandmother who she told what had happened. During that call, Amber told her grandmother that she had pushed Josh causing him to fall to his death.

Amber was taken to the police station to make a statement about the incident, at this time she was not being treated as a suspect but as a witness. They put her into an interview room with her grandmother and while she waited, a distraught Amber began to talk to her grandmother. This is all captured on camera as the interview rooms are full of cameras recording, mostly so that officers can check on people and make sure they’re okay throughout the lengthy process, but this time they recorded a conversation that would change Amber’s life forever.

Amber Hilberling’s grandmother sat and listened as she was told how Amber had pushed him against the wall and this had caused him to fall through the now broken window. Amber repeatedly said how she had killed him and if she could just take back the push that could have saved him.

Many see gaining a confession in this manner as contentious, especially as Amber and her Grandmother were unaware of the cameras at the time. Amber herself said that this conversation was simply her in shock, trying to make sense of what had happened and what was happening all at once.

Over the course of the next year a media frenzy surrounded the case and Amber. Media painted Josh as a war veteran and printed stories about Amber being abusive and violent towards Josh sourced from his family. While Amber’s family claims that this is an inaccurate portrayal of the pair, with Josh having been kicked out of the military only nine months after joining for manufacturing drugs.

Conviction

At trial the only way for Amber to be found innocent was if she could convince the jury that she acted in self defence. Amber claimed, in an interview for Dr. Phil, that her husband reached out and grabbed her, seemingly not bothered with her being pregnant at the time. She reacted and pushed him off of her, the window breaking wasn’t supposed to happen.

In April 2013 a jury found Amber Michelle Hilberling guilty of second-degree murder and was sentenced to a 25-year prison term. She was serving this 25-year sentence in a medium-security prison in Oklahoma.

However, on 24th October 2016, 25-year-old Hilberling was found dead in her prison cell at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, Oklahoma. The medical examiner concluded that Amber Milberling died from asphyxiation due to hanging and ruled her death a suicide. It was also noted that she had methamphetamine in her system at the time of her death.

The Aftermath

Josh’s estate is now suing the high rise from which he fell after discovering that the apartment complex used non-safety glass and the windows were generally not up to standard.

Amber and Josh’s son Levi Hilberling is being raised by Amber’s maternal family; Rhonda Whitlock and Amber’s stepfather are raising him like one of their own. This comes after the tragic events that have left him without his parents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Amber Hilberling?

Amber Hilberling was a 19-year-old pregnant mother-to-be, who pushed her husband to death from their 25th-story apartment in the University Club Tower, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Who is Amber Hilberling and what happened to her?

Amber Hilberling was convicted of second-degree murder for the killing of her 23-year-old husband Joshua Hilberling in 2013. After spending time at the Mabel Basset Correctional Center in McLoud, Oklahoma, she died in her prison cell.

What happened to her?

Amber Hilberling committed suicide on 24th October 2016, shortly after being interviewed for Channel 4’s 2017 documentary Women who kill.

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