Thursday, a federal judge released the newlywed Montana bride accused of pushing her husband off a cliff to his death.
Judge Jeremiah Lynch released Jordan Linn Graham on her own recognizance, ordering her to electronic monitoring at her parents’ home until her second-degree murder case goes to trial.
"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 for allegedly pushing 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 and a potential sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Cameron Fredrickson, a groomsman in the couple's wedding, did not respond favorably to the news that Graham will be released, "She openly admitted that she took someone’s life. She’s done nothing but lie. But you’re going to let her go home with her family and let her relax like it’s no big deal? Are you kidding?"
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 trial 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, and that’s when the tragedy happened.
“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.