Jordan Graham Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Glacier Park Murder
Update, March 27, 12:45: Jordan Graham has been sentenced to 365 months (30 years) in prison with five years supervised release after pleading guilty to the 2nd degree murder of her newlywed husband Cody Johnson. The sentencing is far less than the minimum of 50 to life argued for by the prosecution, but above the 10 years asked for by Graham’s defense.
Update, March 27: During the sentencing hearing today, Judge Donald Malloy has denied Jordan Graham’s request to withdraw her guilty plea. This means that a new trial will not begin and sentencing will commence.
Original story, March 25: With just a day before sentencing, the attorneys for accused murderer Jordan Graham are attempting to withdraw her guilty plea.
Graham was accused of 1st and 2nd degree murder, as well as with lying to authorities after her newlywed husband Cody Johnson was found dead in Glacier National Park after a reported marital argument at the top of a cliff. Prosecuters say Graham pushed Johnson, the defense maintains that she acted in self-defense.
In the final hours of the original trial, Graham agreed to take a plea deal, confessing to second degree murder and admitting that she had acted “recklessly.” The plea deal dropped the charges of 1st degree murder and lying to authorities in exchange for the admission to 2nd degree murder.
Graham was scheduled to be sentenced this Thursday, March 27, and in the run-up to that date, much paperwork is being filed by attorneys on both sides.
The defense is now arguing that Graham’s guilty plea be dropped. They point to the the prosecution’s sentencing papers and argue that the 1st degree charges haven’t been dropped as agreed to in the plea deal, because the government is seeking a life sentence based on premeditated murder.
“The government has argued that defendant is a 1st degree offender and should be sentenced as such,” writes the defense. “… there is no way the defendant can be sentenced fairly given that the government has asked the Court to vary upward to a life sentence based on premeditation.”
The defense now hopes the judge will find that the prosecution has “contaminated the entire sentencing process.”