Newlywed cliff death case: Jordan Linn Graham charged with murder

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by Kevin Dolak

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 3, 2013 at 9:01 PM

 (ABC News)-- A Montana newlywed who authorities say admitted to pushing her husband off a cliff shortly after their wedding was charged on Thursday with murder.

Jordan Linn Graham, 22, was charged with first-degree and second-degree murder and with making a false statement, ABC News affiliate KTMF reported.

Arraignment is set for Friday at U.S. District Court in Missoula.

Last month, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch ordered the release of Graham.

She was placed under home detention and ordered to "undergo mental health evaluation and complete any recommended treatment," according to court papers. Lynch said that the government failed to show that Graham was a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Prosecutors filed a motion fighting Lynch's release "based upon the risk that she presents to the community, the seriousness of the charged offense, her repeated false statements, and her mental health."

Graham told FBI agents that she and her husband of eight days, 25-year-old Cody Lee Johnson, were arguing on July 7 while walking in Glacier National Park near their home in Kalispell, Mont., when he grabbed her arm, according to an affidavit filed at the federal district court of Montana.

"She could have just walked away, but due to her anger, she pushed Johnson with both hands in the back and as a result, he fell face first off the cliff," the affidavit claims she admitted to investigators.


Charging documents in the case revealed that Graham told a friend that she was having second thoughts about the marriage, and that she said that she wanted to talk about her issues with Johnson the night he died.

Graham also sent a message to her friend saying, "But dead serious. If you don't hear from me at all again tonight, something happened," according to the affidavit.

Johnson was reported missing on Monday, July 8, after he failed to show up at work.

Read: Newlywed Cliff Death: Victim's Friend Was Suspicious of Jordan Linn Graham

When interviewed by authorities the following day on July 9, Graham said that she saw "a dark colored car pulling out of the driveway" after receiving a text from her husband saying he was heading out with a friend from out of town, according to the affidavit.

Graham reported the discovery of Johnson's body to a park ranger on July 11, according to the affidavit. When the park ranger commented that it was unusual that she was the one to make the discovery, Graham allegedly said, "It was a place he wanted to see before he died."

"He would come up here with friends to drive fast when his friends were visiting from out of state," she said, according to the affidavit.

Police had to use a helicopter to retrieve Johnson's body from the steep cliffs below the park's Loop Trail. His body was recovered on July 12.

When interviewed by authorities on July 18, Graham admitted that she had lied about the death of her husband and provided false statements

 

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