Homicide

Family denies prison death of Okla. woman convicted of killing husband was suicide

Amber Hilberling.

Amber Hilberling.  (Oklahoma Department of Corrections)

An Oklahoma woman convicted of pushing her husband out of a window at their Tulsa high-rise apartment in 2011, killing him, was found dead in her prison cell Monday, but a relative on Tuesday rejected claims that she killed herself.

Amber Hilberling pushed her husband, Air Force veteran Joshua Hilberling, out of the window in June 2011 after a heated argument in which she claimed she feared for her life. She also said her husband had abused her.

Prosecutors said there was no sign of struggle in the apartment, KOTV reported. A court sentenced her to 25 years in prison in 2013.

The medical staff at the correctional facility in McLoud is treating her death as a suicide, although they have not said how, with family members expressing their doubts.

Bryan Whitlock, Hilberling’s stepfather, told KTUL there was “no way” his stepdaughter’s death was a suicide. He said when he talked with Hilberling Sunday night, she seemed excited that a local television station had offered to interview her, and she wanted to tell her story.

She also was getting college credit while incarcerated and spoke to her infant son daily, Whitlock added. Hilberling reportedly was 7 months pregnant at the time she killed her husband.

Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections Inspector General reportedly launched an investigation into her death.