- Posted October 15, 2013 by
Newlywed Bride Murder Trial
The trial for a Kalispell bride accused of murder by pushing her husband off a cliff in Glacier National Park is scheduled to start on December 9th.
U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula on Tuesday denied the requests by attorneys for both sides to start the murder trial for Jordan Linn Graham in February. They were both seeking more time to prepare for the anticipated two week hearing.
Graham, 22, is charged with killing Cody Lee Johnson, 25, during an argument on July 7, just eight days after they were married.
Court documents state Graham had expressed doubts about her marriage and planned to speak with Johnson about those concerns on the night he died. Documents further state that Graham confessed to pushing her husband in the back with both hands resulting in his fall to his death.
She has entered a plea of not guilty to an indictment charging her with first-degree murder or second-degree murder and also for making a false statement to law enforcement.
Graham notified National Park Service rangers a few days later that she had discovered Johnson's body below a rocky cliff on the west side of Glacier National Park prompting suspicions of law enforcement.
The area where his body was discovered is below the very popular "Loop Trail". It would be very dificult for someone without first hand knowledge of the fall to discover the body.
Molloy ruled that starting the trial on Dec. 9 assures Graham's constitutional right to a speedy trial, and for expeditious closure for the Johnson's family. If a continuance is requested by either party to prepare, or deal with the federal government shutdown, Molloy asked that Johnson's family's desires be considered. Currently many National Park Service staff are on furlough status as a result of the government shutdown.
Additionally, the court questioned the necessity of the prosecution including approximately 60 potential witnesses for the trail. An additional meeting is scheduled for October 19th in U.S. District Court, believed to be for prosecution to share discovery including the potential witness list with the defense.
Any plea agreements in the case must be presented to the court for consideration by Nov. 27.
Molloy has further ordered that neither side speak with the media until the trial concludes.
Graham is currently free on bond and under house arrest at her mother's house in Kalispell. She did not make an appearance in court today.