Graham Pleads Guilty - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Graham Pleads Guilty

Posted: Updated:
BILLINGS -

A surprise development in the case of a young woman accused of pushing her new husband to his death in Glacier National Park.

Even Judge Donald Molloy seemed like he didn't expect it. That's because the defense called witnesses this morning, and the jury waited for closing arguments. Then they took a lunch break, and while both parties were supposed to be preparing closing arguments and jury instructions, the government presented Graham with a plea deal.

Just as jurors were about to hear closing arguments, 22- year Old Jordan Graham agreed to plead guilty to second degree murder in the death of her 25-year-old husband Cody Johnson.

Graham admitted what prosecutors alleged, she pushed Johnson to his death off a cliff at Glacier National Park, eight days after the couple had married.

She told Judge Donald Molloy they were arguing, climbed over a wall, and down to a stump.

That's when she said Johnson grabbed her arm, so she pushed his hand off, and could have walked away at that point, but instead she shoved him with both hands.

"I had no regards to location or what would happen, I just pushed," said Graham.

Judge Molloy asked Graham what happened next, and why she didn't call for help.

"I ran back up to the car and left," she said. "In that moment I was scared and didn't know what to do."

Moments after his client signed the plea deal, one of Graham's federal defenders, Michael Donahoe said, "A proposal was made by the United States attorney to the district. We had a legal obligation to carry that to Ms. Graham. All I can say is that the plea was Ms. Graham's choice."

Earlier in the day, the defense presented the couple's wedding video, and graham cried quietly. Cody's mother was quiet too, but her face told the story. Four days, ending with her son's killer on her way to a prison cell.

Second-degree murder carries a sentence of between 38 years and life in prison.

Graham can also face restitution fees to Johnson's family up to $250,000.

Her sentencing is scheduled for March 27.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Majority of Joyce St. Property Owners Want Road Improvements

    Majority of Joyce St. Property Owners Want Road Improvements

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:19 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:19:23 GMT
    Packed in a local restaurant dining room, property owners along Joyce St., in the Heights, gave the city the green light on drawing up plans to improve their street.Over two dozen Joyce St. property owners showed up. At the end of the meeting, it was suggested a hand raising vote be held to let the city know property owners were serious about the road improvement plans.David Mumford, City of Billings Public Works Director, said in September, there will be a final meeting to get the necessary ...
    Packed in a local restaurant dining room, property owners along Joyce St., in the Heights, gave the city the green light on drawing up plans to improve their street.Over two dozen Joyce St. property owners showed up. At the end of the meeting, it was suggested a hand raising vote be held to let the city know property owners were serious about the road improvement plans.David Mumford, City of Billings Public Works Director, said in September, there will be a final meeting to get the necessary ...
  • Lonnie Bells Rings in His 90th Birthday

    Lonnie Bells Rings in His 90th Birthday

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:01 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:01:30 GMT
    For five decades, Lonnie Bell has been on the airwaves in the Magic City and surrounding area. Bell is a well known disc jockey, with connections to some of country music's biggest names: Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Merle Travis, and John Prine, just to name a few.Bell's family and friends came from all over Montana and the country.Bell's granddaughter, Marti Bell said
    For five decades, Lonnie Bell has been on the airwaves in the Magic City and surrounding area. Bell is a well known disc jockey, with connections to some of country music's biggest names: Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Merle Travis, and John Prine, just to name a few.Bell's family and friends came from all over Montana and the country.Bell's granddaughter, Marti Bell said
  • Carbon County Fair

    Carbon County Fair

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:01 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:01:21 GMT

    The Carbon County Fair was in full swing Thursday in Red Lodge.

    The Carbon County Fair was in full swing Thursday in Red Lodge.