Newlywed Asks to Withdraw Guilty Plea for Husband's Fall From Cliff
The bride who pled guilty in what became known as the newlywed murder trial has decided to change her plea before sentencing. Jordan Graham pled guilty to second-degree murder for pushing her husband of eight days, Cody Johnson, off of a cliff in Montana.
The 22-year-old expected to get a lesser sentencing if she took the plea deal, but prosecutors kept the life in prison sentence on the table. Now, Graham is withdrawing her guilty plea.
Today on Happening Now, criminal defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant explained that if the prosecution changed their terms of the bargain, then the defense has the right to do so as well.
“It’s going to come down to what was agreed upon by the defense lawyers and what was actually conveyed to their client,” Merchant said.
Trial attorney Heather Hansen said ultimately, the judge doesn’t have to listen to either side’s recommendations.
If Graham is allowed to withdraw her plea, Merchant said the defense can renegotiate a deal or go to trial. Her previous statements would be thrown out if she made them in furtherance of a plea negotiation.