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Newlywed gets 30 years in husband murder case

Woman in Newlywed Murder Case Takes Plea Deal
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -- A Montana woman was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison for killing her husband of eight days by pushing him from a cliff in Glacier National Park while they argued about her second thoughts about the marriage.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy said he saw no remorse from Jordan Graham, 22, in the killing of 25-year-old Cody Johnson. He also ordered her to pay $17,000 in restitution.

Prosecutors said Graham lured Johnson to a steep cliff in Glacier Park on July 7 and pushed him over, then lied repeatedly to investigators in an attempt to cover up the crime.

She pleaded guilty to second-degree murder just before closing arguments during her December trial, but tried unsuccessfully to retract that plea after prosecutors recommended a prison term of 50 years to life.

Prosecutors dropped a first-degree murder charge and a count of making a false statement to authorities when Graham changed her plea.

Before he accepted her plea in December, the judge asked Graham to tell him what happened.

Graham said she decided to confront her husband about her marriage doubts, but she did not know how he would take it. She said the couple climbed down a treacherous slope below a popular spot in the park called The Loop and spoke on a narrow ledge, hundreds of feet above a ravine.

She told Johnson she was unhappy. They argued, and at one point, she said, he grabbed her by the arm, and she thought he was going to pull her.

She told the judge she got angry at Johnson, brushed his hand away, then pushed him, with one hand on his arm and one on his back.

"I wasn't thinking about where we were. ... I just pushed," Graham said.

She said she then drove back to her home in Kalispell.

Johnson was reported missing July 8 when he failed to show up for work.

Graham initially told investigators that Johnson left their house July 7 with unknown friends. But Johnson's friends testified they were suspicious of the story and suspected Graham played a role in his disappearance.

Graham showed police a fabricated email - purportedly from a friend of Johnson - that said Johnson was dead and to call off the search.

She later told Glacier rangers she had found Johnson's body near The Loop because it was a place he wanted to see before he died. Ultimately, Graham acknowledged she was with Johnson on the cliff after investigators confronted her with a security camera photo of the couple entering the park.

Prosecutors presented jurors dozens of text messages between Graham and a friend from church, Kimberly Martinez, that documented how Graham's nervous excitement at the prospect of the wedding turned into despair over the week that followed.

Graham's attorneys tried to chip away at the prosecution's depiction of her as a cold, dispassionate woman who didn't want to marry Johnson, as well as their contention that she deliberately pushed him to his death. They also showed jurors videos of the couple's June 29 wedding and their first dance.


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fwlrcj March 28 2014 at 2:34 AM

Divorce may have been troublesome and expensive but it would be better than 30 years in prison. You can get processions back but never 30 years of your life. I guess it come from the being in the me, me, me, now, now, now generation.

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carmelbysea March 27 2014 at 11:54 PM

I hope she will have a painfull prison time.
she will be old, when out.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
amy March 27 2014 at 11:21 PM

She should never be free.

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babyloie1 March 27 2014 at 11:17 PM

I think you can discuss your marital issues in a safer place than a cliff. I think she knew what she was about to do all along........

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1 reply
soultosoul01 babyloie1 March 28 2014 at 12:15 AM

She is a sociopath, plain and simple, and he didn't see it, or missed it along the way. May he RIP, and may she be sullied in prison. She'll be amongst people like herself, but her egocentricity and narcisism will won't allow herself to see it as so.

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sdhol6252 March 27 2014 at 10:53 PM

Wonder how long it wil take for her and her lawyers to file an appeal. Certainly theyll look for a flaw in the prosecutors case. Somewhere along the way they will figure she has been wronged. Hang her

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1 reply
skdoc1 sdhol6252 March 27 2014 at 11:38 PM

Hard to appeal when you've plead guilty. Prosecutors' case has no bearing after that.

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1 reply
soultosoul01 skdoc1 March 28 2014 at 12:24 AM

They'll plead "time of the month", and that will settle that.

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gl1430 March 27 2014 at 10:47 PM

This wacko bird should stay caged for life.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
aabmhbetty March 27 2014 at 10:42 PM

I think she has a loose screw. No sane person would have done this. Watch out cellmates. I'd be watching my back with this one. No remorse? Of course she has no remorse. This was premeditated.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
alfredhandy@aol. March 27 2014 at 10:16 PM

kill them both

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1 reply
peteycat915 alfredhandy@aol. March 27 2014 at 11:13 PM

Kill them both? Who besides her? As far as I can tell, she acted alone.

Betcha anything she'll be married within 5 years. There'll be guys who write to her, and eventually she'll marry one of them.

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glory1963 March 27 2014 at 10:11 PM

CRAP thats nothing for what she did..She still could be a young woman when she gets out...If this was my son...I would hope she would rot in prison...no remorse!!!!!!!!!

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1 reply
kristine paula glory1963 March 27 2014 at 11:29 PM

glory 1963...i totally agree!!! if that was my son i would be waiting for her at the prison gates the day she was released......

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1 reply
Tom kristine paula March 28 2014 at 12:24 AM

If you don't believe in the American justice system maybe you ought to go live somewhere else where your brand of justice prevails. North Korea might be appropriate.

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cdarrellgzmryz March 28 2014 at 12:11 AM

30 years for murder? That's it?!
Good thing it wasn't in California. She would have gotten 10 years and community service.

Why is it, that, in the US women get sentenced less than if it were a man?

Women want to be equal to men -- here's the chance!

Flag Reply +11 rate up
1 reply
kat48grace cdarrellgzmryz March 28 2014 at 12:47 AM

I thin Leslie Van Houten, would disagree with you. I think Jodi Arias will not be walking anytime soon. I

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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