Court News

Nov 12, 2013 9:26 AM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News

Prosecutors ask for newlywed's murder trial to be delayed

MISSOULA - Prosecutors are asking a federal judge to delay the trial of a Kalispell woman who is accused of pushing her newlywed husband over a cliff to his death, saying they need more time to get results of a DNA test for the case.

Jordan Graham is charged with the First Degree Murder of her husband Cody Johnson, and of lying to authorities after her husband's body was found at the bottom of a cliff on The Loop Trail last July. She's scheduled to go to trial next month.

Federal prosecutors say in court documents filed Friday that they need additional time to prepare for the hearing, and especially to get the results of a DNA test which is believed to be a central piece of evidence for the trial.

Although prosecutors haven't specified what the test is for, court papers filed by defense attorneys reference a piece of cloth, which was found on the shore of the river near where Johnson died.

Graham's attorneys say prosecutors may use that to prove " Jordan placed a blindfold on Cody before pushing him off the ledge."

Defense attorneys are already contending there's no way Graham could have taken time to apply a blindfold during the couple's heated argument before Johnson fell over the side, a point used in their petition for the First Degree Murder charge to be dropped.

Prosecutors tell U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy the DNA testing "would not likely be completed for another 30-to-40-days." They're asking the judge to postpone the trial "no later than February," saying the delay would be "in the best interests of justice."

The next hearing to review evidence in the case is Friday. The current deadline for the two sides to submit a plea agreement to avoid trial is Nov. 27.

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