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Friends of Glacier victim react to newlywed’s release

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Sep 12 2013 10:59:08 PM MDT
Updated On: Sep 12 2013 11:00:18 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Thursday afternoon in Missoula a federal court magistrate ruled that Jordan Linn Graham, accused of pushing her new husband off a cliff to his death, will be released from custody as she awaits a potential trial.

It was just before 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon that NBC Montana learned Graham would be released from jail and be allowed to return home to Kalispell – pending second degree murder charges.  

Shortly after her release we learned the U.S. Attorney's office wants the judge to reconsider and put her back behind bars.

We have heard mixed reactions to Graham's release and we reached out to the people closest to the case.  

Friends and family of Cody Lee Johnson tell us they are shocked and can't comprehend how the person accused of killing their loved one is allowed to walk free.

Friend and co-worker Cameron Frederickson tells us he doesn't understand why Jordan Graham was released from custody.

“His mom has to sit at home knowing that the woman that Cody loved betrayed him and took his life, took her son, but yet she's able to go home and be with her family,” Frederickson tells NBC Montana.  

“I don't know how you can let someone who comes to you and says 'Hey I murdered this person, I’m completely aware of it, I could have done something else but I didn't and now I’m going to go home and relax,'” Frederickson said.

We also caught up with Johnson's friend Robert Zunick, who tells us the case is a travesty of justice.

“I understand the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, but obviously she stated in that affidavit that she had pushed him with both hands in anger -- well what if she gets angry at somebody else?” says Zunick.

Zunick tells us the worst part is knowing that Johnson's family is suffering.

“Watching other friends and family is tough and I know that it's been tough on his mother and my thoughts and prayers are with her and the rest of his family,” says Zunick.   

People in the public have mixed reactions.  Viewer Glory Lawson wrote on our Facebook page, "Innocent until proven guilty is what the legal system upholds…She is not considered a threat to the public at large…The legal system's job is to seek out the reasonable doubt to make sure no one is wrongly incarcerated."

But for Frederickson the whole situation is mind-boggling.

“There are a lot of irate people right now,” he says.  “A lot of people are in the same situation --  they don't understand how that decision can be made.”
NBC Montana will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest details as we learn more.