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  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.

  2. #2
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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.

  3. #3
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    Eight months pregnant, according to FB page. Her entries show her to be a bright person. Sad.

  4. #4
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    According to her FB she should be about 8 months pregnant!

  5. #5
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    Looks like the FB page has been taken down now.

  6. #6
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    Reading his protective order, it looks like he was on the receiving end of an abusive relationship. So sad.

  7. #7
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    Tulsa County Jail inmate details / booking info:

    Hilberling, Amber Michelle

  8. #8
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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.

  9. #9
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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.

  10. #10
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    Here's a copy of the emergency protective order (.pdf)


  11. #11
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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.

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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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.

  14. #14
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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...

  15. #15
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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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