Attorney: Newlywed’s fall was ‘accident’
By Graham Winch (CNN)
The attorney representing Jordan Linn Graham, the Montana bride accused of pushing her husband off a cliff, says the groom’s death was an “accident,” and that it’s “reprehensible” for prosecutors to charge his client with second-degree murder.
“This was an accident. This is a gross case of overcharging. This is just not fair,” attorney Michael Donahoe said at a hearing Friday.
Graham appeared in a federal courtroom in Missoula as officials continued to weigh whether she will have to stay in custody as she awaits her murder trial.
Judge Donald Malloy, who was assigned to the case, upheld a ruling from the previous judge that Graham may remain on bond, but she must submit to electronic monitoring at her parents’ house.
CNN’s Kyung Lay, who was in court for Friday’s proceedings, says Graham appeared composed and calm.
Authorities say Graham pushed her husband of eight days face-first off a cliff at Glacier National Park during an argument July 7.
New details about the day of Cody L. Johnson’s death came to light during Friday’s hearing to discuss bond issues.
Donahoe said Graham and Johnson had an argument that ended with Johnson pinning her down.
“He was controlling her movement,” said Donahoe. “He had never done that before.”
Donahoe also said that Johnson was the one who wanted to take a trip to Glacier National Park that evening in July. Once there, the couple began to argue on a hiking trial, and Johnson allegedly tried to grab Graham when she pushed him to his death.
The grabbing incident was “all in one motion, the grabbing and pushing,” Donahoe told the judge.
Prosecutor Kris McLean said he would not argue the case at this stage. However, he did say that Graham repeatedly lied and covered up the crime.
The case is being handled in federal court because the death occurred inside a national park.
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