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Thread: OK - Teen wife charged as Tulsa man plunges 17 stories to death

  1. #1
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    OK - Teen wife charged as Tulsa man plunges 17 stories to death

    Police: man killed at University Club apartments fell 17 stories, wife arrested (KJRH, with video)

    25 floors down from University Club Tower, tiny shards of glass littered the parking lot. The blinds on the window they came from, flapping in the wind.

    "I just thought it was a collision on the parking ramp," said resident Jeff Zwick. He was leaving the building to go for a walk when it happened.

    "I heard what sounded like a collision on the parking ramp, broken glass and a woman screaming," he said.

    The victim, Joshua Hilberling fell 17 stories, onto the top floor of the parking garage.
    ---
    http://www.ktul.com/story/14862983/f...ruled-homicide with booking photo, pictures
    ---
    Amber Hilberling, 19, was arrested in the death of her husband, Joshua Hilberling. She was booked into the Tulsa County jail on a complaint of first degree murder.
    ---
    "What I heard was big bang at first and I'm thinking it was an earthquake. Then I looked out the window and I saw the person," Mina White, a resident, said.
    ---
    "My reaction was what in the world is going on? Is the heat getting to people?" White said.
    ---
    http://www.newson6.com/story/1486117...rtment-complex with booking photo, pictures
    Last edited by wfgodot; 06-08-2011 at 01:28 PM.

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    That is tragic. And Amber was complaining about area construction on her FB wall on Monday night. Joshua died on Tuesday afternoon. I have to wonder if the woman wasn't slipping into some sort of mental illness or psychosis considering the following statement from the link above:

    "....According to court documents, Joshua Hilberling filed an emergency protective order against his wife on May 10, 2011. That protective order was dismissed two weeks later when the couple didn't show up to court...."

    Rest in peace, Joshua.

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    Eight months pregnant, according to FB page. Her entries show her to be a bright person. Sad.

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    According to her FB she should be about 8 months pregnant!

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    Looks like the FB page has been taken down now.

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    Reading his protective order, it looks like he was on the receiving end of an abusive relationship. So sad.

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    Tulsa County Jail inmate details / booking info:

    Hilberling, Amber Michelle

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    According to the booking document, she is being charged with 1st degree murder. That doesn't seem appropriate - maybe manslaughter. Unless there is evidence she specifically pushed him out the window on purpose, but it doesn't seem like it from what I read. More like an accident, but at the hands of her violence.

    Sad situation for all involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownRice View Post
    According to the booking document, she is being charged with 1st degree murder. That doesn't seem appropriate - maybe manslaughter. Unless there is evidence she specifically pushed him out the window on purpose, but it doesn't seem like it from what I read. More like an accident, but at the hands of her violence.

    Sad situation for all involved.
    It does seem she has been overcharged. Per this site:

    http://www.oklahomacriminallaw.com/h...nformation.htm


    1st degree murder requires:

    Malice and Forethought Murder —the state must prove the defendant caused the death of a human with the deliberate intent to take away the life of a human being.
    I realize "forethought" can be virtually instantaneous, but I wonder how they'll prove that in pushing the husband, she knew and intended for him to go through the window and to his death.

    2nd degree seems easier to prove here:

    By Imminently Dangerous Conduct—the state must prove that because of the defendant’s imminently dangerous conduct, which demonstrated a depraved mind in extreme disregard of human life, and the death a human resulted.
    Or as BrownRice has already pointed out, one or more degrees of manslaughter might apply.

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    Here's a copy of the emergency protective order (.pdf)

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    Does the felony-murder rule apply here? Couldn't the wife be charged with first-degree murder if the husband died during the commission of another felony (e.g. battery). Not sure if the merger doctrine also applies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobi View Post
    Does the felony-murder rule apply here? Couldn't the wife be charged with first-degree murder if the husband died during the commission of another felony (e.g. battery). Not sure if the merger doctrine also applies.
    I am NOT a lawyer, but Wiki doesn't show the "merger doctrine" applying to criminal cases, only civil ones.

    I don't think it's possible to kill someone without assaulting him or her, so if assault is included in the "felony murder" concept, then there would no longer be any such thing as manslaughter.

    But again, I am NOT a lawyer. And prosecutors in various jurisdictions have been trying to expand the felony murder concept, I believe.

    I can imagine the prosecution using the prior assaults to argue that the defendant had demonstrated a desire to kill the victim, and hence, the 1st degree murder charge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    I am NOT a lawyer, but Wiki doesn't show the "merger doctrine" applying to criminal cases, only civil ones.

    I don't think it's possible to kill someone without assaulting him or her, so if assault is included in the "felony murder" concept, then there would no longer be any such thing as manslaughter.

    But again, I am NOT a lawyer. And prosecutors in various jurisdictions have been trying to expand the felony murder concept, I believe.

    I can imagine the prosecution using the prior assaults to argue that the defendant had demonstrated a desire to kill the victim, and hence, the 1st degree murder charge.
    Though it didn't happen in this case, I was thinking if the man tried to flee a violent domestic situation and ran out and got hit by a car and was killed, if the woman would then be charged with first degree murder? In this case, instead of getting hit by a car, he may have been pushed then tripped and fell out of the window whilst trying to get away from his wife...

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    ---
    An argument between the couple preceded the man’s fall, [Sgt. Dave] Walker said. The relationship involves prior claims of domestic violence, according to police and court records.

    Walker said each spouse’s family is accusing the unrelated spouse of aggressive domestic violence.

    “It depends on what side of the family you talk to as to who is the more aggressive one,” Walker said.
    ---
    Tulsa World

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    For what it's worth (probably not much), Nancy Grace said something tonight about aggravated assault ending in a death and therefore meeting the "felony murder" threshold. She was talking about Florida, not Oklahoma, and I still don't understand why that doesn't elevate all voluntary manslaughter cases to felony murder, but that's what NG said.

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  33. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobi View Post
    Though it didn't happen in this case, I was thinking if the man tried to flee a violent domestic situation and ran out and got hit by a car and was killed, if the woman would then be charged with first degree murder? In this case, instead of getting hit by a car, he may have been pushed then tripped and fell out of the window whilst trying to get away from his wife...
    Depending on the level of violence, I would expect that to be involuntary manslaughter, but I am NOT a lawyer. My experience with these definitions comes from being a California juror and the definitions vary from state to state.

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    Tulsa Wife Arrested In Husband's High-Rise Death Out On Bond
    ---
    Amber Hilberling, who is eight months pregnant, was being held for first degree murder. She was released after posting bond Wednesday.

    "When we looked into and we started getting more reports of domestic violence, where she was the aggressor, that's what led us to file a different, upgraded charge," Dave Walker, Tulsa Homicide Detective, said.
    ---
    more at newson6.com link above

    The bond was variously reported at being $250,000 and $500,000.

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    I'm shocked she's out already!!!

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    Oklahoma statutes provide that:

    E. Any person convicted of domestic abuse as defined in subsection C of this section that results in great bodily injury to the victim shall be guilty of a felony and punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than ten (10) years, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year. The provisions of Section 51.1 of this title shall apply to any second or subsequent conviction of a violation of this subsection.

    I'm thinking this was a felony and maybe that is why Murder 1?

    Salem

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    Oklahoma statutes provide that:

    E. Any person convicted of domestic abuse as defined in subsection C of this section that results in great bodily injury to the victim shall be guilty of a felony and punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than ten (10) years, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year. The provisions of Section 51.1 of this title shall apply to any second or subsequent conviction of a violation of this subsection.

    I'm thinking this was a felony and maybe that is why Murder 1?

    Salem
    That makes a lot of sense, Salem. I won't be surprised if that is what the prosecution tries to argue.

    For me, personally, I think it's a stretch, but I don't live in Oklahoma and I certainly don't sit on the bench.

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    Bolding by me. Here's another portion - this is section 21-652:

    C. Any person who commits any assault and battery upon another, including an unborn child as defined in Section 1-730 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, by means of any deadly weapon, or by such other means or force as is likely to produce death, or in any manner attempts to kill another, including an unborn child as defined in Section 1-730 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or in resisting the execution of any legal process, shall upon conviction be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary not exceeding life.

    Section 21-692 Homicide
    §21‑692. Homicide classified.
    Homicide is either:
    1. Murder;
    2. Manslaughter;
    3. Excusable homicide; or,
    4. Justifiable homicide.

    §21‑695. Confidential or domestic relation may be considered.
    Whenever the grade or punishment of homicide is made to depend upon its having been committed under circumstances evincing a depraved mind or unusual cruelty, or in a cruel manner, the jury may take into consideration the fact that any domestic or confidential relation existed between the accused and the person killed, in determining the moral quality of the acts proved.
    §21-701.7. Murder in the first degree.
    A. A person commits murder in the first degree when that person unlawfully and with malice aforethought causes the death of another human being. Malice is that deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a human being, which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof.
    B. A person also commits the crime of murder in the first degree, regardless of malice, when that person or any other person takes the life of a human being during, or if the death of a human being results from, the commission or attempted commission of murder of another person, shooting or discharge of a firearm or crossbow with intent to kill, intentional discharge of a firearm or other deadly weapon into any dwelling or building as provided in Section 1289.17A of this title, forcible rape, robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, escape from lawful custody, eluding an officer, first degree burglary, first degree arson, unlawful distributing or dispensing of controlled dangerous substances, or trafficking in illegal drugs.


    The site is a bit cumbersome to use and it takes a bit of wading through it. I don't find a "felony murder rule" here though. Instead of saying "during the commission of a felony," the statute spells out what crimes would lead to murder 1.

    Here's the link if anyone wants to take a look. I'm sure there is a better site somewhere http://www.oklegislature.gov/osstatuestitle.html

    Salem


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    right, she's out on bond & coincidentally, someone is attempting to delete her internet presence ... (youtube, facebook gone)

    shouldn't she be focused on grieving the loss of her baby's father?

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  47. #24
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    Oh my. Geeze - hope she has the baby while she's out so he/she doesn't have to endure more stress, etc. Oh boy =(
    Where is Jennifer Kesse? www.findjenniferkesse.com

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  49. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salem View Post
    Bolding by me. Here's another portion - this is section 21-652:

    C. Any person who commits any assault and battery upon another, including an unborn child as defined in Section 1-730 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, by means of any deadly weapon, or by such other means or force as is likely to produce death, or in any manner attempts to kill another, including an unborn child as defined in Section 1-730 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or in resisting the execution of any legal process, shall upon conviction be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary not exceeding life.

    Section 21-692 Homicide
    §21‑692. Homicide classified.
    Homicide is either:
    1. Murder;
    2. Manslaughter;
    3. Excusable homicide; or,
    4. Justifiable homicide.

    §21‑695. Confidential or domestic relation may be considered.
    Whenever the grade or punishment of homicide is made to depend upon its having been committed under circumstances evincing a depraved mind or unusual cruelty, or in a cruel manner, the jury may take into consideration the fact that any domestic or confidential relation existed between the accused and the person killed, in determining the moral quality of the acts proved.
    §21-701.7. Murder in the first degree.
    A. A person commits murder in the first degree when that person unlawfully and with malice aforethought causes the death of another human being. Malice is that deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a human being, which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof.
    B. A person also commits the crime of murder in the first degree, regardless of malice, when that person or any other person takes the life of a human being during, or if the death of a human being results from, the commission or attempted commission of murder of another person, shooting or discharge of a firearm or crossbow with intent to kill, intentional discharge of a firearm or other deadly weapon into any dwelling or building as provided in Section 1289.17A of this title, forcible rape, robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, escape from lawful custody, eluding an officer, first degree burglary, first degree arson, unlawful distributing or dispensing of controlled dangerous substances, or trafficking in illegal drugs.


    The site is a bit cumbersome to use and it takes a bit of wading through it. I don't find a "felony murder rule" here though. Instead of saying "during the commission of a felony," the statute spells out what crimes would lead to murder 1.

    Here's the link if anyone wants to take a look. I'm sure there is a better site somewhere http://www.oklegislature.gov/osstatuestitle.html

    Salem
    Salem,

    I think 21-701.7B is your "felony murder" statute; instead of using that phrase, it lists the various felonies that apply by name.

    And this site details case law that says the underlying felony in felony murder MUST be a separate act and specifically details a case where an assault was deemed NOT a separate act and therefore not sufficient to make a killing felony murder.

    http://www.okcca.net/online/oujis/ou...OUJI-CR%204-93

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