The tragedy of Amber Hilberling

The story of Amber Hilberling has to be among the most controversial of the twenty-first century. Young love, high passion, opulence, and alleged drug abuse were the hallmarks of a tragedy that captivated Americans for weeks on end.

When Amber was accused of pushing her husband to his death from their University Club apartment, the story spread from Tulsa across national boundaries.

The young, beautiful blonde spoke to Dr. Phil from the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud to tell her side of the story. She also appeared in several documentaries, with her last interview being Channel 4’s Women Who Kill, after which something tragic happened to the 25-year old mother of two.

Wondering what happened to Amber on Dr. Phil? We spill the beans on what transpired after that infamous interview with McGraw in February 2016 that took us behind the scenes of the life and times of Amber and Josh Hilberling.

Who is Amber and Josh Hilberling?

Amber Michelle Hilberling and Josh Hilberling were a young, newly-wed couple and new parents at the time of Josh’s death. She was 19 and he 23 when they got married in what seemed like a fairytale wedding surrounded by family and friends. They lived at the University Club Tower, where they got pregnant, and she gave birth to a baby boy, Levi. 

According to Josh’s mum, Jeanne Hilberling, and family members on both sides, Amber and Joshua, had a history of domestic violence. Joshua’s father, Patrick Hilberling, claimed that Josh wanted a divorce. Mr. Hilberling added, “I knew she killed him as soon as I saw the chaplain.” 

In 2013, Amber was convicted of killing her Air Force veteran husband, Josh, by shoving him out of their high-rise apartment when she was seven months pregnant.

How their fairytale love story turned sour baffled many who knew the two. 

The Death of Josh Hilberling 

On June 6, 2011, life as she knew it would change for Amber, her young son, and her unborn baby. In a jailhouse interview in 2015 with Dr. Phil McGraw, Amber Hilberling explained that she had pushed her 23-year-old husband through an apartment window in self-defence but insisted she didn’t mean to kill him.

Amber explained that they had an argument during which he violently grabbed her by the shoulders. The new bride, seven months pregnant, recalled pushing her 6ft 6″ husband away from her and then looking at a broken window. According to her, the unconventional shape of the windows at the University Club Tower apartment was to blame for the accident. 

Josh Hilberling, 23, fell through the window and plunged to his death from the 25th floor of their University Club Tower apartment building.

In 2011, Amber was convicted and given a 25-year sentence for pushing her husband to death. But, she maintained her innocence, stating that it had been an accident.

Amber Convicted of Second-Degree Murder

Amber Hilberling and her attorneys declined two plea deals for her high-rise murder case. The plea deals would have allowed her to negotiate a 5-year sentence in prison and 15 years probation or seven years in prison and 13 years of a suspended sentence. 

That decision set up her trial for second-degree murder. Later, Hilberling said she didn’t regret her decision and rejected the plea deal because an innocent person “will take any risk necessary to prove it.”

Amber’s choice to go to trial would lead to a fate no one could have predicted.

On March 18, 2013, jurors found Hilberling guilty of second-degree murder, and in April, the judge upheld the recommendation, giving her a 25-year prison sentence. Additionally, she had to pay $10,000 in fines and funeral expenses for her dead husband. 

After Sentencing: What Happened to Amber Hilberling?

Amber served only three years of her 25-year prison term. In 2016, a year after speaking to Dr. Phil McGraw and three years after she was convicted for the murder of her husband, Amber died in prison. Her lifeless body was hanging by a cord from a bunk bed in her cell. 

Amber’s parents, Rhonda Whitlock and her husband discussed their daughter’s death with McGraw in a TV interview in November 2016. They disputed her death in prison as a result of suicide.

Rhonda Whitlock confirmed that Amber had cut herself while in prison, but they believed she had been murdered at the maximum security prison.

According to a medical examiner’s report, when she hanged herself, Amber Hilberling had scars on her wrists and forearms, and methamphetamine was found in her blood.