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Graham’s defense provides comment after surprise plea deal

By Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter, szoltan@keci.com
Published On: Dec 12 2013 11:13:59 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Jordan Graham, the Kalispell bride charged in the death of her husband, Cody Johnson, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The plea came 15 minutes after the defense and prosecution were set to begin closing arguments.

After Thursday’s court session ended, the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment, though Graham’s defense did speak briefly with reporters.

“The proposal was made by the United States Attorney for the District, Mr. Cotter. Andy (Nelson) and I had a legal obligation to carry that to Ms. Graham…All I can say is the ultimate plea entered was Ms. Graham’s choice,” said Federal Defender Michael Donahoe.

When asked if he was disappointed, Donahoe said, “I don’t have disappointment. I’m just tired.”

Graham’s other Federal Defender, Andy Nelson, also commented.

“Judge Molloy has a lot of discretion...I can’t think of a judge I'd rather have sentence Ms. Graham,” said Nelson. 

Earlier in the day, the defense team presented Graham’s wedding video as evidence. Graham cried during the footage.

“For us, I think it's been emotional from the drop of the gavel,” said Nelson.

When asked if this has been one of the hardest cases he's taken on, Nelson replied "Absolutely...First Degree Murder is a very serious charge.”

Graham was booked into the Missoula County Detention Center on Thursday. She’s set to be sentenced in March.