Newlywed Sentenced in Murder Case for Pushing Husband Off a Cliff

Glacier National ParkRemember Jordan Graham, the 22-year-old newlywed accused of pushing her husband off a cliff to his death? She was sentenced on Thursday to 30 years in prison for killing 25-year-old Cody Johnson eight days after she married him.

Graham had decided to plead guilty to second-degree murder just before the closing arguments of her December trial. At the time of the death, she lied about being there, but eventually admitted to a physical altercation that led to her "accidentally" pushing him off the cliff in Glacier National Park.


Prosecutors argued that Graham had lured Johnson to the Montana national park on July 7 after suffering a severe case of "wedding blues." They dropped the first-degree murder charge, as well as a count of making a false statement, but still recommended a sentence of 50 years to life.

Earlier this week, Graham tried to withdraw her plea on the basis that "prosecutors claimed in a sentencing memorandum that she deliberately killed her husband." She apparently maintained that she hadn't meant to kill him when she pushed him.

Back in December, the judge asked her to tell him what happened the day her husband died.

She said that she told him she was unhappy, and he grabbed her arm. Afraid he was going to pull her, she pushed him away. "I wasn't thinking about where we were. ... I just pushed," she said.

This story is so sad, but her actions afterward are a little bit suspicious. If it really was an accident, then why did she just drive home after he fell and later lie to the police about about it? She even showed the authorities a fabricated email from a purported friend of Johnson's to try to cover her tracks. I get being scared, but why not call 911 on the chance that he survived the fall?

The jury was shown a series of texts between Graham and a friend documenting her "nervous excitement" leading up to the wedding, and the despair that followed in the week after. They also got to see videos of the couple's June 29 wedding, including their first dance. So basically, saddest, creepiest jury these people are likely to ever be on.

We'll probably never know exactly what happened that day that led to Johnson's death, but it seems as though the judge and jury have decided that Graham had a substantial enough part in it to warrant 30 years in prison.

Do you think she got off easy?


Image via tylerjswenson/Flickr

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