Woman accused of pushing husband off cliff to be released on bond

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Story highlights

  • Jordan Linn Graham, accused of pushing her husband off cliff, to get bond
  • Prosecution concedes she is not a flight risk, federal judge notes in ruling
  • Prosecutors say Graham pushed Cody Johnson off cliff during fight in July

A federal court ruled Thursday that a Montana bride accused of pushing her new husband off a cliff to his death will be released from custody as she awaits her trial.

It is not clear at this time how much money Jordan Linn Graham will have to post to be released on bond or what conditions her bond will require. An order imposing conditions of her release will be filed separately. Graham has not yet been released from custody.

"Because the government concedes that Graham does not pose a risk of flight, and has not met its burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of the community, the court concludes that Graham must be released," reads the order from Judge Jeremiah Lynch.

Graham appeared in the U.S. District Court of Montana in Missoula, Montana, on Wednesday for her detention hearing on a charge that she pushed her husband, Cody L. Johnson, off a cliff in July on a hiking trail in Glacier National Park. The case is being heard in federal court because the park is under federal jurisdiction.

Graham is facing a second-degree murder charge; if she is convicted, she could be sentenced to life in prison.

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The couple had been married for a little more than a week when Johnson fell to his death.

The affidavit supporting Graham's murder charge states that she told police she decided to travel with Johnson to the hiking trail the evening of July 7 and 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," reads the affidavit.

    Graham said she then turned around and removed his hand.

    "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," reads the affidavit.

    Johnson's body was found several days later.

    The affidavit also states that Graham texted a friend the same night her husband died, saying in the message that she was going to talk to Johnson about having "second thoughts."

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

    Her friend responded, "I'll pray for you guys."

    Graham then replied, "Dead serious, if u don't hear from me at all again tonight, something happened," according to a court document filed in the case.