22-year-old Montana woman Jordan Graham is facing murder charges after her newlywed husband (of 8 days), Cody Johnson, was discovered face down at the bottom of a cliff in July 11th, at Glacier National Park.
Now Graham is facing second degree murder charges and her trial is currently underway in federal court (because Johnson’s death occurred at a national park). Prosecutors claim Graham pushed her husband off the cliff, while she claims she acted in self defense. Graham says that she and her husband were having an argument, and the entire thing was an accident.
During opening statements, prosecutors say that Graham was having second thoughts on her new marriage, and that was the motive behind the murder. Additionally, the prosecution pointed out that Johnson vanished July 7th and 4 days later she led friends and relatives of her husband to the spot where his body was discovered.
Graham claims that she just speculated that her husband would be there, and she says she was never at the park. However, detectives caught her in a lie, when they obtained surveillance photos of the newlyweds entering the park. But that’s not the only lie prosecutors attributed to Graham. She initially claimed that her husband went on a car trip with friends the day he was reported missing.
Moreover, Graham never reported her husband missing. Instead he was reported missing when he did not show up for work. Furthermore, during an interrogation with the FBI Graham admits she could have walked away during the argument, but out of anger she pushed him. Unfortunately, that statement occurred during the first hour and 20 minutes of her interrogation, and that part was not recorded. The defense claims that the admission from Graham was coerced.
Kimberly Martinez and Jennifer Toren, friends of Jordan Graham, testified regarding the text messages they exchanged with Graham. In one text message Graham said that she was going to confront her husband about their martial doubts on the same day that he went missing.
The prosecution is using this to bolster their argument that the murder was planned, but the defense could use it to their advantage, because in one message she claimed her husband had a temper. She also complained about her sexual relationship with Johnson, “I just know he is gonna wanna do stuff I’m not wanting to.”
The jury is composed of 6 women and 8 men, including two alternates. However, there is some evidence that judge Judge Donald W. Molloy will not let the jury hear about. The judge claims it is “too prejudicial.” That evidence includes statements Graham made about killing her mother and stepfather, as well as a blindfold found next to the body, which indicated she could have blindfolded him before pushing him.