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Detective: Flowers, stuffed animals in trash outside Graham’s house

By Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter, szoltan@keci.com
Published On: Dec 10 2013 11:09:34 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

It was an emotional day two in the courtroom in the case of a Kalispell newlywed accused of murder.

Prosecutors say Jordan Linn Graham intentionally pushed her husband, Cody Lee Johnson, off a cliff in Glacier National Park in July.

Testimony started with Graham’s 16-year-old brother, Michael Rutledge. He cried on the stand when he told the court how he went with Graham to find Johnson’s body. He also said he was mad at her for lying about what happened.

After that, five more witnesses took the stand.  Graham’s friend Hannah Sherrill testified that she went on a search party for Johnson with Graham at Glacier National Park, and though she suggested multiple spots to look, Graham said she had somewhere specific in mind. That’s where Johnson’s body was located, facedown in water in a ravine.

Sherrill testified that Graham didn’t cry, but Graham’s brother was bawling and could barely function. Sherrill also testified that Graham said, on the way out of the park, that the cops could now stop investigating.

Later, Glacier National Park Ranger Steve Powers took the stand. He testified that Graham seemed nervous, uneasy and was shaking when he asked her how she knew somewhere specific to look. Powers said Graham said it was a place Johnson said he wanted to see before he died.

After that, Kalispell Detective Cory Clark took the stand. He described what it was like recovering the body in the park, and identified a shoe and sock recovered from the scene.

He also discussed an email Graham showed authorities from “Tony.” The email said Johnson was dead and to call off the search, but information from Google presented to jurors Tuesday indicates that the email was traced back to Graham’s parents’ house. Authorities suspect Graham set up the account and emailed herself.

Prosecutors pulled up a photo of objects Clark said he obtained from a trash can in front of Johnson and Graham’s townhouse. Clark says it was legal for him to through the trash because it was off of the property.

He said he saw a piece of white lace fabric, flowers, Valentine’s Day items and stuffed animals. He says he took the photo of the items and then returned them to the trash can.

Testimonies will start back up at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday. Graham has pleaded not guilty to first and second-degree murder, and lying to authorities.