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Woman Accused of Killing Her Husband in Glacier National Park Released From Jail

Jordan Graham Glacier Park Murder Trial
Graham Defense Followed by mother Lindy Rutledge (Photo courtesy of Jon King/KGVO News)

Update 9/12: Judge Jeremiah Lynch has decided to release Jordan Linn Graham from jail until trial. Although Graham was released from the jail, she will be under certain constraints.

Graham will be under home detention with her mother, Lindy Rutlidge and will only be allowed to leave the home for medical, substance abuse and mental health treatment, attorney visits, court appearances, court ordered obligations, and religious services.

Also, Graham is required to wear an electronic monitoring device and undergo a mental health evaluation.

Furthermore, Graham is prohibited from having any contact with the family of her deceased husband, and with any potential witnesses in the case.

Original story: Twenty-two-year-old Jordan Graham appeared at 1:30 p.m., Sept. 11, in U.S. District Court at the Russell Smith Federal Court House in Missoula to determine if she could be released from the jail and instead be placed under house arrest until her trial. Graham is being charged with second degree murder in the death of her newlywed husband 25-year-old Cody Johnson.

During the hearing, Graham appeared in a standard orange prison jumpsuit, her hands handcuffed behind her. She was wearing a pair of dark rimmed glasses, and her brown hair still showed evidence of the subtle highlights that appear in the widely-distributed wedding photo.

The arguments from both sides hung on whether or not she posed a public risk by being detained at home.

The U.S. attorneys argued that Graham should be held in jail because of four main reasons:  The seriousness of the crime, public safety, potential harm to herself and the spread of disinformation.

In the prosecution’s case, U.S. Attorney Kris Mclean stated that Graham had sent misleading emails while pretending to be someone named “Tony.” the emails appeared to be attempts to mislead the public over what happened. According to the attorney, phrases of the email include statements like, “Cody left with some friends,” that he “fell off the cliff,” and “call off the cops.”

These emails were sent sometime between the time Johnson was being searched for as a missing person, and the July 16 interview in which Graham admitted to a federal agent that she had pushed Johnson over a cliff while hiking in Glacier National Park.

Attorneys also quoted texts and emails from Graham that said, “I want to kill myself,” and “I might as well be dead,” when arguing that she should not be placed under house arrest because she was a risk to herself.

The defense argued that other than the second-degree murder charge, Graham had, “No criminal history. No evidence of violent tendencies, including anger outbursts.”

The judge also noted that there was not criminal past, and that even the threat of self-risk could be avoided with some extra monitoring.

One of the main arguments for the defense was that the prosecution had not incarcerated Graham until September 9, nearly two months after a large part of the evidence had been gathered against her. The defense pressed that the lack of incarceration was itself evidence that the prosecution did not view Graham as a public risk.

Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch will present his final decision before noon on Thursday, September 12, on whether or not Graham will be placed under house arrest.

During the hearing, Graham’s mother, Lindy Rutledge was called as a witness by the defense. She explained that she was willing to have her daughter in her home under house arrest, and that she would purchase a land line so that an electronic monitoring system could be installed for Graham.

Document: Jordan Graham Complaint

Document: Jordan Graham Affidavit

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