Dec 12, 2013 2:43 PM by Dennis Bragg - Missoula
MISSOULA - Jordan Linn Graham, the Kalispell woman who is accused of killing her husband Cody Johnson by pushing him off a cliff in Glacier National Park in July, has admitted to second-degree murder.
Graham accepted the plea deal in a fast-moving court case before federal judge Donald Molloy on Thursday in a Missoula courtroom.
The fourth day of the trial started off with the prosecution wrapping up its arguments and the defense then rested its case.
We will update you as we learn more details.
(Thursday, 11:30 a.m.) The federal district courtroom in Missoula took on a somber atmosphere Thursday morning as jurors were shown videos of the wedding between Cody Johnson and Jordan Graham - a joyous ceremony capped by tragedy that happened just eight days later.
That's when Johnson fell over a cliff to his death in Glacier National Park, a fall which prosecutors blame on Graham.
The showing of the wedding videos came on the fourth day of the trial in Missoula, where Graham is facing charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and lying to cover up the crimes.
Prosecutors wrapped up their direct case earlier than expected on Thursday morning, with defense attorneys shifting to their presentation.
So far, the jury has heard from several witnesses in the first hour, as Graham's attorneys attempt to show their client's love for her husband, and also draw out more details about Johnson himself.
That included testimony about Johnson's fast driving and speeding tickets, and how Graham took out a $3,000 loan to pay for a custom song to be played at their wedding.
Defense attorneys then showed videos of the couple being married, standing face-to-face holding hands in a Kalispell park as they heard their vows and the first dance at their wedding reception.
During the song, titled "You're Mine," the couple dance closely with Johnson clasping his hands behind his new bride's neck while she holds him around the waist, embracing as they dance to the custom song.
As the lyric, "Don't want to spend another night without for the rest of my life," played over the courtroom speakers, friends of the couple blinked back tears. And when the room was cleared for the morning recess there was little conversation as people filed out.
It's not known whether Graham will take the stand herself, but given an earlier estimate it's possible the defense will finish its case on Thursday afternoon.
8 hours ago