September 13, 2013 in City

Montana newlywed released pending trial in Glacier National Park death

Associated Press

MISSOULA – A federal judge ordered a Montana newlywed released from jail Thursday as she awaits trial on charges that she pushed her husband to his death over a cliff in Glacier National Park because she was having second thoughts about marriage.

Prosecutors immediately sought to reverse Thursday’s order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch, saying 22-year-old Jordan Linn Graham, of Kalispell, was a risk to the community and had lied to investigators.

But Lynch said the government had not shown that Graham was a danger to the community or a flight risk – the two main factors in deciding whether someone should be released. He ordered her into home detention at her parents’ house in Kalispell and to undergo a mental health evaluation.

The fact that Graham allegedly admitted to her actions in July yet authorities did not file charges until this week suggests she was not as dangerous as prosecutors have described, Lynch said.

Prosecutors said they would file an additional motion today detailing why the release order should be revoked. It was uncertain when the court would act on the request.

Graham was freed after being told the conditions of her release during a Thursday afternoon hearing.

She is accused of shoving Cody Lee Johnson, 25, off a steep cliff near a popular trail in the park on July 7.

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