TULSA - A jury found Amber Hilberling guilty of second-degree murder Monday afternoon.
Hilberling was on trial for the death of her husband, who fell from his 25-floor midtown Tulsa apartment window in June 2011.
The jury recommended 25 years in prison.
2NEWS reporter Sara Goldenberg, in the courtroom Monday, reported Hilberling appeared shocked as the verdict was read. At one point, a chair had to be retrieved for Hilberling as she struggled to stand and address the judge.
The jury, which had the option to convict her of a first-degree manslaughter charge, ultimately chose the harshest penalty available.
"There's a lesson to be learned from this. And that is that domestic violence goes on in every strata in our community. And it happens to men, and it happens to women," said prosecutor Michelle Keely.
"We still maintain that this was self-defense, and our client had every right to defend herself in that situation. Clearly the jury didn't see it the same way," said defense attorney April Seibert.
Seibert says Hilberling plans to appeal.
Testimony in the case began last week and Hilberling took the stand Friday. The defense claimed the couple was in the middle of a heated argument and Hilberling pushed her husband in self defense. She testified that it wasn't her intention to kill her husband.
RELATED LINK: Hilberling says husband pushed her 1st (http://bit.ly/YjAWUi)
The defense has criticized evidence collection by police, claiming they failed to test flesh, blood and hair that remained on the window for DNA. Detectives on the scene said it was never a question of who it came from and prosecutors added that didn't explain why Hilberling pushed her husband.
Jurors saw video and photographs from the scene, including the window and Joshua Hilberling's body. Hilberling sat with eyes lowered, never looking up to the images.
Inside the apartment was a packed bag full of Joshua Hilberling's and a partially empty closet, which the prosecution says supports the idea that he was leaving. Patrick Hilberling, Joshua's father, testified his son called him the day he died asking for a ride and saying he wanted a divorce.
Witnesses testified they heard Joshua crash through the window and saw his body lying on the eighth-floor parking garage. They said Amber Hilberling was screaming, "I pushed my husband out the window. I killed him."
Hilberling previously filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2012, claiming the apartment's windows were dangerously thin and her husband's fall was an accident -- a claim supported by two witnesses who testified as experts for the defense, though their qualifications as experts were called into question by prosecutors.
During closing arguments, the prosecution focused on the fact that all five detectives who investigated Joshua Hilberling's death said there were no signs of a struggle in the apartment in contrast to the defense's claim. They believe Hilberling's grandmother, Gloria Bowers, introduced the idea of a struggle to Hilberling during a discussion at the police department -- an exchange that was recorded and played for the jury earlier in the trial.
Prosecutors say this was no act of self defense, they believe Hilberling charged her husband as he was waiting for a friend to pick him up from the apartment. They pointed to his packed bags and the cellphone that was in his hand, which landed next to him after he fell from the window. They replayed the video recording of Hilberling telling her grandmother, "He was messing with the TV and I pushed him."
An hour after the prosecution began their closing, the defense took over, arguing that the prosecution left out crucial pieces of evidence about what witnesses heard the day Hilberling's husband died. Hilberling's attorney says the yelling and screaming are evidence enough of an ongoing struggle between the couple. They say Hilberling also had scratches on her shoulders.
The prosecution, however, used Hilberling's own statements to contradict the defense. She said her husband was either talking on the phone or had just hung up. The prosecution says there would have been no way to grab someone's shoulders with a cellphone in the palm of a hand.
The direction in which Joshua Hilberling fell was a point of contention throughout the trial and was again discussed during closing arguments. The defense has maintained he went out backward after the two were involved in a shoving match. However, the prosecution argued Joshua was pushed in the back and went out feet first. The medical examiner said he landed feet first, possibly arms forward, but they couldn't explain how he came out of the window.
Hilberling now awaits sentencing, slated for April. She faces 10 years to life in prison.
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