A newly-wed bride has pleaded guilty to pushing her husband off a cliff and killing him eight days after their wedding, during an argument over her having second thoughts about the marriage.
Jordan Graham, 22, had denied murder, claiming that the death had been an accident, after first denying that she had even been present when he died.
In accepting the last minute guilty plea, US District Judge Donald Molloy told Graham she must recount exactly what happened when her husband Cody Johnson, 25, fell to his death in Glacier National Park, Montana in July.
Graham said she decided to talk to Johnson, 25, about her unhappiness eight days after their wedding, so on the evening of 7 July, around sunset, the couple went to a popular spot in Glacier park.
They stepped over a retaining wall and climbed down a rocky, steep slope to the edge of a cliff and a steep drop of a couple hundred feet to a ravine, she said.
There, she told Johnson that she wasn't really happy and that she was not feeling like she believed she ought to after being married.
An escalating argument followed which culminating with Johnson grabbing her, Graham said.
She said that she thought he was going to pull her toward him and became angry. "I wasn't thinking about where we were," she said. "I just pushed."
She said she brushed away his hand and then pushed her new husband with one hand on his back and one hand on his shoulder, and he went over.
It wasn't planned, but she said it was "definitely reckless with an extreme disregard" for life.
In exchange for the last minute guilty plea to second-degree murder, prosecutors agreed to drop a first-degree murder charge and a count of making a false statement to authorities.
Graham could face a maximum sentence of life in prison when she is sentenced on 27 March.Reuse content