Donna Hockman shot and killed Dustin Stanley in self-defense on July 25, 2008.
Stanley was a criminal informant, and had a record of 12 arrests for property destruction, assault and battery, disorderly conduct and annoying phone calls. He was also violent and had been stalking Donna for many months after being released from jail in February 2008 after signing a Confidential Informant Agreement.
On June 7, 2008, at a wedding, Stanley’s family told Donna that he had abused “every woman he’s ever dated”. Shortly after, a fight broke out between Stanley and his family, and later that night Stanley beat Donna bloody, bashed her head into her headboard and threw her onto the floor kicking her repeatedly.
Despite complaints to police, Stanley was not arrested, and Donna could not obtain any protection from him, apparently due to his status as a paid police informant.
On July 25, Donna shot Stanley at her home after he threatened to kill her and her son.
Donna was convicted of first degree murder on the basis of the testimony of six jailhouse informants who claimed she gave different accounts of events on July 25 and sentenced to life without parole.
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Amber Hilberling admitted to pushing her husband, an Air Force veteran, out of their 17th-floor apartment in Tulsa during an argument in June 2011.
But she claimed in court she did not intend to kill him, and blamed his fatal fall on “dangerously unsafe” window glass that was too weak to stop his plunge.
Amber, who was seven months pregnant when her husband died, cited self-defense and even rejected a plea deal that would have given her only five years behind bars.
But a jury convicted her of second-degree murder in 2013, after only three hours of deliberation. A judge sentenced her to 25 years in prison.
Amber still stuck by her self-defense claim, repeating it in a televised prison interview with Dr. Phil.
“There was an altercation in which I defended myself,” she told Dr. Phil, adding that her husband flew into a rage after she called him a coward.
She also claimed in the interview that her husband abused her through their 11-month marriage, and she always kept quiet about it.
“I was really good at lying,” Hilberling said.
“That was our relationship: Josh getting in trouble over and over again and me saying, ‘Oh, no, it’s not his fault. That’s my fault. I did that.’
In October 2016, Amber committed suicide in her prison cell.
Karen Ingala Smith writes about the sex-differences in domestic violence killings in the United Kingdom, using figures from the Office of National Statistics. Her key points:
- Far fewer men than women are killed in the context of intimate partner violence (57 men in 3 years compared to 249 women)
- Men are much more likely to be killed by the spouse of a partner or a love rival (14 out of 57 men, compared to none of the 249 women killed)
- Men are much more likely than women to have been killed by someone of the same sex (21 of 57 male homicide victims were killed by a man, compared to one out or 249 women)
- Men are more likely to have been killed by someone they were abusing, women are more likely to have been killed by someone they were being abused by.
See Sex-differences and ‘domestic violence murders’ for the full article.