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Jordan Graham sentenced for pushing husband off cliff

Jordan Graham left a US District Court in Missoula, Montana, on 11 December 2013 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Jordan Linn Graham said she and her husband argued before she pushed him off a cliff in Glacier National Park on 7 July

A woman in the US state of Montana who admitted shoving her husband off a cliff eight days into their marriage has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Jordan Linn Graham, 22, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in December and faced up to a life sentence.

Cody Johnson, 25, fell to his death in Glacier National Park on 7 July.

Prosecutors alleged Graham was having second thoughts about her marriage when she lured Johnson to the cliff.

Graham had insisted Johnson's death was accidental but later pleaded guilty during her jury trial.

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

In exchange for her plea, prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of premeditated first-degree murder as well as one count of making a false statement to authorities.

Graham told a court in December she was unhappy just days after her wedding. When she and her new husband went for a hike on a narrow ledge over a ravine, they argued, and he grabbed her by the arm.

"I just pushed... I wasn't thinking about where we were," she said.

Reported missing

Image copyright AP
Image caption Missing flyers were posted around Cody Johnson's neighbourhood before Graham was arrested

Graham said she later drove home and did not call for help because she was afraid.

Johnson was reported missing on 8 July.

According to an FBI affidavit, in an initial interview on 9 July, Graham told police she had received a text message from her husband saying he was going for a drive with a friend.

But she told investigators both she and her husband usually deleted their texts so she could not show police the message in question.

Two days later she was the first to report finding her husband's dead body.

A park ranger told her it was unusual that she had found the body, according to the affidavit.

"It was a place he wanted to see before he died," she allegedly replied.

His family called for an investigation after his body was recovered by helicopter below a steep viewpoint known as the Loop, in Glacier National Park on 12 July.

Graham subsequently admitted having lied to police about her husband's death on 16 July.

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