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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jordan Linn Graham Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula on March 27, 2014, JORDAN LINN GRAHAM, 22, of Kalispell, was sentenced to 360 months in prison, followed by 5 years supervised release by Senior U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy. The sentence follows Graham's mid-trial guilty plea to second degree murder. Jordan Linn Graham filed a motion to withdraw her guilty plea on March 26, 2014. The motion was denied today by the trial judge.

Cody Johnson married Jordan Graham in Kalispell on June 29, 2013. The day after the wedding, Graham began to tell a friend that she "totally had a meltdown" and was having second thoughts concerning her marriage to Cody and wondered "what the heck I just did this all for."

At trial, several witnesses testified that on July 7, 2013 Cody said Graham had a surprise planned for him later that day. Graham lured Cody to Glacier National Park with the promise of a big surprise and pushed him from a cliff to his death. After providing several false statements to law enforcement officers and impeding the investigation by providing false information, Graham ultimately admitted pushing Cody from behind with both hands.

On July 8, 2013, multiple people reported Cody missing to the Kalispell Police Department, but the defendant was not one of them. During the next few days the defendant continued to communicate with numerous people in the Kalispell community, often via text message, about what had happened to Cody. As demonstrated at trial through witness testimony and admitted exhibits, the defendant continued to impress upon friends and family that Cody had left with friends. She continued to tell this story via text messages, including with Cody's mother.

Convincing evidence at trial established that on the morning of July 10, 2013, the defendant created an email account entitled "carmontony607" using Google from her parent's residence in Kalispell. A few minutes after that account was established, the defendant emailed herself the following message:

Hello Jordan, My name is Tony. There is no bother in looking for Cody anymore. He is gone. I saw your post on twitter and thought I would email you. He had come with some buddies and met up with me on Sunday night in Columbia Falls. He was saying he needed to be with buddies for a bit and take them for a joy ride before they had to go. So he said bye to me and they took off in a black car for a ride. 3 of the other guys came back saying they had gone for a ride in the woods somewhere and Cody got out of the car and went for a little hike and they are positive he fell and he is dead Jordan. I don't know who the guys were but they took off. So call off the missing person report. Cody is for sure gone. -Tony."

Because the defendant did not identify the location of Cody's body until the evening of July 11, 2013, law enforcement were not able to recover Cody's body until the next day, on July 12, 2013. The recovery of Cody's body was a substantial undertaking, requiring National Park staff overtime and the retention of specialized equipment. As testified by a number of law enforcement at trial, Cody's body was located at the bottom of an approximately 300-foot cliff and located, face-down, in a shallow creek. Cody's body was ultimately lifted from the bottom of the ravine by a special-lift helicopter that had to be retained for this specific purpose.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Park Service, Kalispell Police Department, Flathead County Sheriff's Office and Parks Canada. "These agencies worked as one and are to be commended for their tireless efforts to bring justice to this case, to Cody Johnson and to his family and friends.

The conviction of Graham happened because of the incredible investigative team and a hard-working and talented trial team which worked tirelessly to propel this case to a right and just conclusion.

The US Department of Justice and the Montana United States Attorney's Office extend our profound appreciation and thank you to the agents and officers involved in this investigation." --United States Attorney Michael Cotter.

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Updated January 14, 2015