Attorneys for Amber Hilberling filed a last-minute motion to suppress evidence in a case that has become somewhat of a media frenzy.
The 19-year-old has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder, and an alternative charge of first degree manslaughter.
Investigators say on June 7th, 2011, then-pregnant Hilberling pushed her husband, 23-year-old Joshua Hilberling, during an argument at the University Club apartment in midtown Tulsa. Josh fell 17 stories and died.
At the hearing, the defense filed a motion to suppress evidence--an audiotape, recorded at the Tulsa Police Department after the incident. The defense says that person didn't know they were being recorded, which is against the law. "You can't do that," says Hilberling's attorney, Mark Collier. "You can certainly tape record conversations, but one party of the conversation needs to be aware and consent to that."
Prosecutors now have five days to respond, and due to the large number of witnesses and high-profile nature of the case, the judge decided to push back the next hearing for October 26th. "The family would have liked to have had the preliminary hearing today," says Michelle Keely, Assistant District Attorney for Tulsa County. "Everybody would have liked that but they understand that what's most important is justice and they want justice for Josh."
In the meantime, the case has generated a lot of reaction from the public. Ann Marie Harris created 'Justice 4 Josh' bracelets, which raise money for domestic violence victims. She has raised $600 on donations alone. "Domestic violence is obviously what happened to Josh and so his name will live on," says Harris.
Three separate Facebook pages are dedicated to the case with, combined, nearly 2,400 members.
The defense has filed a defamation lawsuit against a woman in Oklahoma County they say admitted to lying about Amber on Facebook. "We will sue anyone else who puts out fabricated allegations about my client. It is my job to protect her and I will protect her in any way," says Hilberling's attorney Jasen Corns.
That defamation lawsuit is ongoing.
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