Cliff Bride Appeals Her Own Guilty Plea

Her lawyers say judge, prosecutors breached plea deal
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2014 6:57 AM CDT
Cliff Bride Appeals Her Own Guilty Plea
In this Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 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 Linn Graham pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in December after pushing her new husband off a cliff to his death, but now she's appealing her own guilty plea and the 30-year prison sentence she received. In the documents filed yesterday, the deadline for appealing the sentence, her lawyers accuse the prosecutors and the judge of breaching the plea agreement and say the judge made improper calculations when handing down the sentence on March 27, NBC News reports.

For example, the Missoulian reports that prosecutors dropped the first-degree murder charge when Graham accepted the plea, and the remaining second-degree murder charge doesn't include premeditation. But Graham's lawyers argue the judge still considered premeditation during the sentencing phase and the prosecution suggested premeditation in its own sentencing recommendations; her lawyers had pushed for a 10-year sentence. (Graham actually tried, unsuccessfully, to withdraw her guilty plea on the morning she was sentenced after prosecutors pushed for a 50-year sentence.)

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