Jail investigating picture of murder suspect & baby

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Updated: 1/23/2013 10:59 am Published: 1/22/2013 5:21 pm

This week, FOX23 was sent a photo that appeared on the Facebook page of murder suspect Amber Hilberling’s mother.

The photo shows Hilberling kissing her 13-month-old son through the glass in the visiting room at the David L. Moss Correctional Facility.

In a comment on the picture, Hilberling's mother says, “I almost got kicked out of the place (because) ‘cameras aren't allowed, shame on you’ from the mean man, but I'm telling you guys, this picture was worth it.”

Hilberling is accused of murdering her husband Joshua in 2011. Police say she shoved him out of a 23 story window while she was pregnant. She's back in the Tulsa County Jail after her bond was revoked twice.

The first time in late 2011 when a judge said she wasn't complying with requirements related to an ankle monitor, and again in January of 2012 when Hilberling tested positive for THC which is a chemical compound found in marijuana two times.

I went to Major Shannon Clark of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.  FOX23 showed him the picture, and asked if any policies were violated at the jail when it was taken.

He says usually kids younger than 14 can't visit with anyone at the jail, unless higher ups sign off on it.

“I am going to reach out to the Jail Administrator, explain to her what we've seen, what you've shown me today, and we'll probably reach out to the Chaplains to see if they authorized anything,” Major Clark said.

FOX23 later learned the Jail Chaplain approved the visit but nothing more.

“If you're going to be allowed to go beyond the standard rules and granted special privileges, then you have a code of conduct and you have to adhere to that code of conduct,” Major Clark told FOX23.

If someone did bring a cell phone or a camera into the visitation room, it's a clear violation of a policy posted in the jail's lobby that says “No personal items may be taken past the lobby area, including cell phones, mobile communication devices, food, beverages, and tobacco products.”

That's why there's now an investigation TCSO has opened looking into who took the picture. That policy is also why there could be a punishment as a result of the picture being taken.

“Rules are made for a reason, we try to do that, and we try to protect the integrity of every person who comes through that facility. Everybody is equal. Nobody is treated with any special privileges,” Clark said.

FOX23 called Amber Hilberling's attorney to see what he would say about the picture, and when we spoke with Jasen Corns he would only say, “The notion that this is newsworthy is ridiculous.”

Major Clark doesn't agree.

“They got that one visit, and they may not get another visit because they violated our rules and conditions. We will be adamant about defending the integrity of our policies,” he said.

FOX23 will keep you updated about what comes out of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Investigation.

Amber Hilberling's murder trial is scheduled to begin in early March.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Unwashed Mass - 1/23/2013 3:33 PM
1 Vote
The jail shouldn't be afraid of cameras if the have nothing to hide. - Oh wait, they do: "Attorney said during a Jan. 8 hearing that members of the public should be able to see for themselves an October 2011 Tulsa Jail video that he says shows the "horrific treatment" Elliott Williams experienced in his final hours of life."

Mayor Maynot - 1/23/2013 9:30 AM
1 Vote
In visitor rules on city of Tulsa and DLM there is no direct reference to pictures but an inference to cell phones which are considered as contraband other than that I don't have a problem with an infant having his picture taken with invitro mom. I hope her lawyer try's to keep the baby out of the courtroom. I don't think grandstanding with the baby will bend her cause towards leniency. It may cause concern when will the baby go out ....... ?

Mayor Maynot - 1/23/2013 9:08 AM
2 Votes
What a childhood already

OathKeeper - 1/23/2013 8:05 AM
2 Votes
I see nothing wrong with a photo being taken of a mother kissing her child, through the glass, while an inmate in jail. What sickens me, is that the FOX23 NEWS can take an innocent photo like this, and turn it around, just so the reporters can have a story to use for better ratings. Anything to make someones life more troubled, the news reporters most usually do, just to get their story. Regardless if this lady is in jail or not, she has not yet been convicted of anything. INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. At least that is what the law wants us to believe. Unless you, yourself have been in this lady's situation, you should not judge. As it says in the Bible, "Do not judge unless you are ready to be judged yourself." and, "Those without sin, cast the first stone."

Mayor Maynot - 1/23/2013 1:32 AM
0 Votes
DIrty Sermon figuring that most jails are jails you are not allowed to bring cameras or cell phones into jails click Hershel read more. ;-). http://www.danesheriff.com/jail_general.aspx#visitation_rules

Unwashed Mass - 1/23/2013 12:17 AM
1 Vote
There is nothing wrong with the photo, or for that matter, bringing a camera into the jail, but the Sheriff's department will nevertheless come down on them hard to cover the jail staff's incompetence. This also beggs the question why you arent Allowed to take pictures in the first place. Is it so they can deny substandard conditions or abuse?

Mayor Maynot - 1/22/2013 10:39 PM
0 Votes
Hilberlings atty may have some merit in his statement. Put grandma in the electric chair for being a grandmother ? That's what grannys do. The impossible. I would say she blew the horn on her tugboat a little too loud by posting the photos on Facebook. I hear those entries are irrevocable. Looks like incurably stupid runs in the family.
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