Jordan Linn Graham Charged with Murder in Newlywed Cliff Death Case

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Jordan Linn Graham and Cody Lee Johnson

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updated 10/04/2013 at 08:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/04/2013 08:40AM



A Montana bride accused of fatally pushing her new husband off a cliff in Glacier National Park is set to be arraigned on murder charges Friday in U.S. Magistrate's Court in Missoula.

Jordan Linn Graham, 22, was charged by a federal grand jury Thursday with first- and second-degree murder, and making false statements.

She and husband Cody Lee Johnson, 25, had only been married eight days when he fell to his death on a hiking trail July 7.

Graham's attorney has called Cody's death an accident.

Last month, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch ordered Graham be placed under home detention and "undergo mental health evaluation and complete any recommended treatment," say court papers. Lynch said that prosecutors failed to prove Graham posed a flight risk and a danger to the community.

According to CNN, in an affidavit supporting the charges against her, the bride told police she decided to go hiking with Johnson near their home in Kalispell, Mont., on the evening of July 7 and that an argument ensued.

"Graham stated their argument intensified. At one point in time during their arguing, Graham turned and began to walk away. She stated Johnson grabbed her by the arm," states the affidavit.

Graham then turned around and removed his hand, she told authorities.

"Graham stated she could have just walked away, but due to her anger, she pushed Johnson with both hands in the back and as a result, he fell face first off the cliff," per the affidavit.

Johnson was reported missing on July 8 after he failed to show up at work. His body was found several days later.

The affidavit further states that Graham texted a friend the night her husband died and expressed having "second thoughts" about the marriage.

"Oh well, I am about to talk to him," she texted.

Her friend responded, "I'll pray for you guys" – to which Graham replied, according to a court document, "Dead serious, if u don't hear from me at all again tonight, something happened."

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