Friends of a Montana groom who police claim was pushed to his death off a cliff by his newlywed bride say they warned their friend Cody L. Johnson not to marry the woman now charged with his alleged murder.
“The relationship between the two was not equal,” Johnson’s close friend Levi Blasdel told HLN’s Nancy Grace in an interview Wednesday night. “They were not both giving equal parts into the relationship, and Cody was doing everything he could to go out of his way.”
Jordan Linn Graham, 22, and Johnson, 25, were married just eight days before Johnson’s death on July 7. After admitting to police that she had lied about the death of her husband, police say Graham eventually told authorities that she had pushed Johnson during an argument when he fell face-first over a cliff in Glacier National Park near an area known as “The Loop,” according to a police affidavit.
Graham was arrested on September 9 on a federal charge of second-degree murder. A judge released her from the Missoula County Detention Facility last Thursday and placed her in her parents’ custody, pending trial. Graham was freed without being required to post bond, provided she wear an electronic monitoring device while under house arrest at her parents’ Kalispell home.
While the affidavit states that police said Graham admitted to pushing Johnson out of anger when he allegedly grabbed her arm, friends told Grace that Johnson was not the abusive type.
“Cody actually had such a high respect for women that, I mean, even through conversation, he would not lift a hand towards them. He would not laugh at certain jokes that were derogatory towards women. He truly respected them that much,” Cameron Fredrickson said.
Johnson’s friends also said that they were troubled and disturbed by Graham’s demeanor at her husband’s funeral.
“Is it true that at his funeral, she was actually texting or fidgeting with her phone throughout the whole time while one of you two were actually speaking?” Grace asked Blasdel.
“Yes, actually, I spoke, and then Cameron spoke. And when I got up and you look over the crowd of people, there was Cody’s mother in front of me, and then Jordan was off to the left. And briefly glancing over to the left, you see her, like you said, fidgeting with her phone,” Blasdel said. “It was a great shock to me.”
In the police affidavit, Graham told police she and her husband hiked up to the cliff because they were both upset and arguing, but friends told Grace they find Graham’s story hard to believe considering Johnson was afraid of heights.
“He was very uncomfortable with anything over 20 feet, which is pretty normal for people who are afraid of heights,” Blasdel told Grace. “For him to be walking out in Glacier Park along an edge in the dark is very unlikely, and not conducive to a lifestyle that Cody would purposely choose for himself.”
Graham’s attorney Michael Donahoe refused to give Nancy Grace p** roducers** a comment on the case.
HLN reports that at a hearing Friday, Donahoe said, “This was an accident. This is a gross case of overcharging. This is just not fair.”