The Criminal Defense Blog

Bride Has Second Thoughts, Pushes Groom to Death

A bride who was apparently having second thoughts about her marriage has allegedly pushed her new husband to his death.  She now stands charged with murder and facing a life-sentence in prison.

Timeline of Events

June 30:  Jordan Graham, 22, and Cody Johnson, 25, were married in Montana.

July 7:  The newlyweds were hiking in Glacier National Park.  Apparently, the two got into an argument that ended when Graham pushing Johnson in the back, causing him to fall off a cliff to his death.

That evening around 9:00 pm, Graham swapped text messages with a friend in which Graham indicated she was going to talk to Johnson about the second thoughts she was having about their marriage.  Graham’s friend responded indicating she would pray for them.

July 8:  Johnson was reported missing when he did not show up for work.  When asked about the whereabouts of her husband by authorities, Graham told them that she had last seen him the evening of July 7.  Graham indicated that her husband got into a car with friends she did not know.  She even described the car, saying it was dark colored and had Washington state license plates.

July 10:  Graham sent an e-mail to another friend in which she indicated her husband had left with friends to go hiking and had died from a fall.

July 11:  Graham spoke with park rangers with Glacier National Park to tell them she had found Johnson’s body off the Loop Trail.

July 12:  Authorities used a helicopter to recover Johnson’s body.

July 16:  Graham admitted to investigators that she had lied initially about her husband’s death, him leaving with friends, and the dark-colored car.

According to Graham, while she and Johnson were hiking on the Loop Trail, they got into an argument.  When she turned to walk away, Johnson allegedly grabbed her arm.  Graham freed herself and shoved Johnson, which led to him falling from the trail.

September 9:  Prosecutors formally charge Graham with second-degree murder in the death of Johnson.  The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Concern from Family and Friends

Now that the facts concerning Johnson’s death have come out, family and friends are not especially surprised.  As early as December 2012 when Graham and Johnson were engaged, friends of Johnson had warned him not to go forward with the marriage.

“Their interaction with each other, it didn’t seem like a happy, loving relationship that you would normally see.  It was just very awkward, I guess,” said Cameron Fredrickson, a friend of Johnson who had known him for seven years.  “She was just very distant and reserved.”

Friends in general characterized Johnson as fun loving and that his feelings for Graham were stronger than Graham’s feelings for him.

“He was very in love with Jordan,” said Tracy Maness, a family friend.  “And he was really excited about starting the next chapter of his life.”

“Nobody is shocked at all,” Maness continued.  “She’d been telling people she knew she never wanted to be married, she just wanted to have a wedding, and that’s apparently what they were arguing about.”

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Mark

Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.
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