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

Graham Pleads Guilty

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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.

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