MISSOULA, Mont. - A Montana newlywed charged with second-degree murder for allegedly pushing her husband off a cliff at Glacier National Park has been released from prison pending trial.
A federal judged ordered the release of 22-year-old Jordan Linn Graham of Kalispell, saying she did not pose a flight risk because of strong community ties. The judge said Graham does not appear to be a danger to others.
Jordan Graham and Cody Johnson were supposed to be experiencing wedded bliss when they went hiking in the stunning beauty of Glacier National Park last July. Instead, Graham allegedly shoved her husband of just a week off of a mountain cliff. It may have all been over an argument over the young bride's "second thoughts" on marriage.
After initially lying about the incident, Graham admitted to FBI investigators that she and her husband had been arguing as they walked in the Loop Trail area of the park on July 7. The trail begins at an elevation of 4,400 feet and has a vertical gain of about 2,000 feet along its path. According to court documents, the 22-year-old said that at one point during the argument she turned to walk away from Johnson, but he then grabbed her arm to stop her.
In an affidavit, she admits to turning around, taking his hand off of her arm and "due to her anger, she pushed Johnson with both hands in the back, and as a result, he fell face first off the cliff." Graham made an initial court appearance Monday on a charge of second-degree murder. Johnson's family and friends are relieved at her arrest after repeatedly calling for an investigation into his death. Friends say the 25-year-old was excited about his wedding and in love with Graham.
The young bride had at first allegedly denied going on the hike with her husband. Instead she told investigators that her husband left their house the night before with some unidentified friends for a hike with them. His body was only found after Graham reported spotting his body after a search of an area of the park he was known to love. But investigators later discovered that the night before Johnson disappeared, Graham had texted a friend and said she was about to talk to Johnson about her reservations over having been married the previous weekend.
The unnamed friend told the FBI of receiving a text the night before the hike in which Graham said, "Oh well, I'm going to talk to him." and added, "But dead serious if u don't hear from me at all again tonight, something happened."