Preliminary Hearing For Tulsa Murder Suspect Amber Hilberling Postponed


Wednesday, September 7th 2011, 12:39 pm
By: News On 6


Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A preliminary hearing for the woman accused of pushing her husband out of a 25th floor window was postponed Wednesday.

The postponement was granted because her attorney claims police illegally recorded a conversation between the woman, Amber Hilberling, and her grandmother.

Police took Amber Hilberling to the police station and put her into an interrogation room on June 17, 2011, to question her about her husband's death.

6/8/2011 Related Story: Complaint Upgraded To First Degree Murder For Tulsa Woman Arrested In Husband's Death

Her attorney's motion says even after she and her grandmother told police she wouldn't make a statement and wanted an attorney; officers still recorded the women's conversation for 47 minutes.

By most accounts, Joshua and Amber Hilberling had a volatile relationship. Who the aggressor was - depends on which side of the family you talk to.

On June 7, 2011, police say the couple was fighting and Amber pushed Josh and he fell through the window of their 25th floor apartment.

They say he landed 17 stories below on a parking garage and died. Police say his bags were packed like he was leaving and he'd filed a protective order against her in May, but it was dismissed 14 days later.

Amber was seven months pregnant when Josh died.

Her motion says after she told police she wanted a lawyer, officers secretly recorded her and her grandmother's conversation.

Amber's attorney says that violates wiretapping laws so it shouldn't be allowed as evidence.

"We're attempting to suppress this evidence, although we believe the evidence can be interpreted favorably to us, the state believes it'll be interpreted differently. Regardless, we feel is should be inadmissible," said Mark Collier, Amber's Attorney.

Prosecutors say they did research on this issue before filing the case. The judge has given them a few weeks to respond to the motion in writing, and then there will be a hearing in late October to determine if the tape should be allowed.

"Back in the 1990s, this did come up once and we believe things were done correctly, but certainly the judge will be the person who decides," said prosecuting attorney Michelle Keeling.

Amber's attorney has also requested copies of the couple's bank statement. He claims they contain evidence of Josh's chronic use and distribution of illegal drugs.

He says that's relevant because it was what the couple was fighting about the night of his death and the reason Amber told Josh to move out.

Amber Hilberling bonded out two days after being arrested. She had a baby boy in early August named Levi and has custody of him.

She remains free on a $250,000 bond and wears an ankle monitor.