Missoula
72° F
Clear
Clear
Kalispell
64° F
Bozeman
59° F
Clear
Clear
Advertisement

Brother gives emotional testimony in Jordan Graham murder trial

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Dec 10 2013 05:55:07 PM MST
Updated On: Dec 12 2013 03:11:23 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Day two of the trial of a Kalispell newlywed accused of murdering her husband was an emotional one.

Jordan Linn Graham's teenage brother took the stand facing his sister in the federal courtroom. And for the first time the court saw emotion from Graham who’s typically quiet and reserved.

Graham is accused of intentionally pushing her husband Cody Lee Johnson off a cliff in Glacier National Park in July.

Tuesday, Michael Rutledge, 16, took testified in court, telling them the jurors he was among a group of Graham’s friends and family who went to the park, twice, to looking for Johnson.

Rutledge said he thought it was odd Graham insisted on only looking near 'The Loop' trail in the park.

"My thoughts are why are we only going to this spot," he said.  But he didn't speak up. He just went along.

Then he told the court he climbed down the side of a ledge with Graham on July 11, four days after Johnson was reported missing. Graham spotted Johnson first and then Rutledge confirmed it.

"I saw Cody laying face down...it looked as if he was on top of a rock in the water," he told the court.

It wasn't easy for him to admit to the court, he started to cry. He said at that point he lost it and had to sit down on the rocks.

Two of Graham's friends who were also there to find Johnson in July, testified Graham showed no emotion and didn't cry.

Rutledge's emotions escalated when he told the court he was upset with his sister for lying, telling different stories about what happened to Johnson.

"Are you mad at Jordan?" asked Federal Defender Andrew Nelson asked.

"Not so much anymore, but when I first found out yes," Rutledge said.

"She told one lie was asked to tell the truth and she said it again, and she had to keep adding more lies to cover up," he said as he cried. That's when Graham started to cry too.

The lying came up again when jurors watched two different interviews of Jordan at the Kalispell police station and her story changed from one to the next.

In addition the jurors heard from police detectives, a park ranger and friends of Jordan.

The prosecution will continue calling witnesses Wednesday; court begins at 8:15 a.m.