A new bride killed her husband by pushing him off a cliff at Glacier National Park during an argument. U.S. prosecutors seek a life sentence against her in sentencing hearing.
Jordan Graham, 22, pleaded guilty to second degree murder after reaching a deal with prosecutors in December. Graham is set to be sentenced next week after murdering her husband on July 7, 2013. Graham and her husband, Cody Johnson had only been married for eight days when she killed him.
Graham’s agreement with the prosecutors was reached just as closing arguments were starting in her federal murder trial. Prosecutors agreed to drop first degree murder charges that would have carried a mandatory life sentence.
According to prosecutors, while Graham was arguing with her new husband, she deliberately shoved him off of a rock ledge. The newlyweds were hiking up a steep trail at Glacier at the time.
Graham then lied to investigators in an attempt to cover up the murder. After reaching the plea deal, Graham appeared before U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy and admitted her guilt.
Graham stated that her husband had grabbed her hand during the argument and she “just pushed his hand off and just pushed away.”
In a sentencing recommendation filed by federal prosecutors, the prison term of 24 to 30 years on the second degree murder count would be “insufficient” and they went on to describe Graham as “extremely dangerous, predatory and an unrepentant murderer.”
U.S. Attorney for Montana, Michael Cotter wrote, “The defendant, despite offering no remorse, has left a mother childless, upended a community and shown no respect for the law during this entire process.” Cotter wants the judge to sentence Graham to at least 50 years.
Graham’s federal defense attorney Michael Donahoe wants her to be given a 10 year sentence claiming that his client had no criminal record before what he described as a “tragic event.” Donahoe went on to say that Graham was unlikely to commit another crime and did regret that she hadn’t come forward sooner.
In his legal filings, Donahoe wrote, “She is worthy of punishment and the shame that will no doubt accompany her for the remainder of her life. Defendant has confided to the undersigned that a day does not go by that she doesn’t think of her husband and what might have been.”
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