Was it murder or just an accident? A Montana newlywed told a judge on Friday that she unintentionally pushed her husband off a cliff on July 7 after he grabbed her arm during an argument. Jordan Graham, 22, told a U.S. District Court judge in a pretrial hearing that she thought her husband of eight days, Cody Johnson, 25, was going to push her first.
"We were in the middle of an argument and he thought I was going to run away. Cody had grabbed me and I thought he was going to push me down," she said, as quoted by People. "My first instinct was to get him off [of me]."
Graham has been charged with first-degree murder and lying to authorities after allegedly pushing her husband to his death from the Loop Trail in Glacier National Park, KPAX News in Missoula reports. The judge was considering a defense motion, and it was alleged that FBI agents misrepresented her police interview to make it seem she pushed Johnson after the fight rather than during it, People added.
On Friday, the 22-year-old widow said the FBI agent who interviewed her made her feel “uncomfortable” when he placed his hand on her knee and said he treated her as he would his own daughter.
Prosecutors are conducting DNA tests on a cloth found near Johnson’s body because they believe Graham might have blindfolded her husband from behind before she pushed him to his fatal fall, but the defense contented the prosecution waited too long to tell them the FBI was conducting such tests.
But in court papers filed on Thursday, the prosecutors said Graham is the only one who knows whether she blindfolded her husband and they weren’t going to present a premeditation theory involving a blindfold just yet.
Prosecutors believe Graham pushed her husband off the cliff after she told friends she had made a mistake in marrying him. In a coverup attempt, she originally said Johnson had left town with friends, they say. Johnson’s friends doubt the victim physically assaulted Graham and say he was afraid of heights.
Graham has pleaded not guilty to murder. Her trial is slated to start Dec. 9, though prosecutors want it delayed until February.