Newlywed Who Pushed Husband Off Cliff Jailed

Sky News US Team

A bride who had doubts about her eight-day-old marriage and then killed her husband by pushing him off a cliff has been jailed for 30 years.

The judge in Missoula, Montana, told Jordan Graham she showed no remorse and "did not have the human capacity to feel the wrongfulness of what she'd done".

Graham, 22, said on the day her husband Cody Johnson died last July, the couple had driven to Glacier National Park and then walked to the cliff face.

She then told him she was not happy and "wasn't sure we should be married".

Mr Johnson, 25, then responded by grabbing her hand, she claimed, adding she thought he was going to pull her.

"I told him to let go and I pushed his hand off," Graham said.

She said she "just pushed his hand off and just pushed away", with one hand on his arm and one on his back.

The defendant had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder but then tried to withdraw her plea last December.

She claimed prosecutors were going back on an agreement by seeking a life sentence.

But US District Judge Donald Molloy denied the request. He sentenced Graham to 30 years in prison with no chance for early parole, followed by five years of supervised release.

Graham broke down in tears before sentencing as she began her address to the judge, saying she still loved the husband she killed.

"A day doesn't go by I don't think about what happened and why I didn't make different decisions," she said.

"It was a moment of complete shock and panic. I have no other explanation."

She also apologised to Mr Johnson's mother as well as her own family. But the judge indicated he had continuing doubts about her honesty.

"There's only one person in this room that knows what happened, and I don't think she's been entirely truthful about what happened," Judge Molloy said.

Graham had initially told investigators her husband left their house with unknown friends and showed police a fabricated email from a 'friend' saying he was dead and the search should be called off.