Newlywed Pleads Guilty in Cliff Murder

Jordan Graham agrees to second-degree charge before closing arguments begin
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 12, 2013 2:48 PM CST
Newlywed to Plead Guilty in Cliff Murder
In this Dec. 10 photo, Jordan Graham, center, is flanked by defense attorneys Michael Donahoe, left, and Andy Nelson, as she leaves court in Missoula, Mont.   (AP Photo/Stephan Ferry)

Jordan Graham isn't taking any chances with a jury: The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to second-murder today after being accused of pushing her husband of eight days off a cliff in Montana, reports CNN. Graham struck the deal after the defense and prosecution rested their cases in her trial, but before closing arguments had begun. Had she been convicted, Graham would have faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison. However, she still could get a life sentence under the plea deal, reports AP.

Graham didn't testify during the trial, but in accepting the plea bargain, the judge made her recount how her 25-year-old husband, Cody Johnson, fell to his death in July. In the AP's telling:

  • Graham said she told Johnson that she wasn't happy and wasn't feeling like she should after getting married. She said they argued and at one point he grabbed her by the arm. She said she brushed his hand away and pushed him, with one hand on his arm and one on his back. "I wasn't thinking about where we were," she said. "I just pushed."
(Read more Jordan Linn Graham stories.)

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