Attorneys for the Montana bride accused of pushing her new husband off a cliff say she was coaxed into revealing details of the case by police and are fighting to have new evidence prevented from be allowed during the trial.
FBI investigator Stacey Smiedala is thought to have removed a police detective during Jordan Graham's initial 90 minute interrogation on July 16 without having to record it, as is required in all investigations in the state of Montana, attorney Michael Donahoe said in court filings on Friday.
Graham's attorney argued that his client's initial claims that it was an accident have been manipulated in order to shape the prosecutions argument that she had planned on killing her new husband.
Still, new revelations reveal that her husband Cody Johnson was blindfolded before plunging off the cliff.
"Government counsel told the defense for the first time that premeditation may be proved because the government now believes Jordan placed a blindfold on Cody before pushing him off the ledge," the defense's motion to dismiss charges against Graham read.
"If, as is stated in the complaint affidavit, Jordan and Cody were arguing intensely on the ledge it hardly seems plausible that the argument would case abruptly so Jordan could apply a blindfold. Frankly at this point the defense has no idea of how the government intends to try this case," the defense's affidavit continued.
Prosecutors maintain that Graham made comments about blindfolding Johnson during their hike, which shows premeditation on her behalf and could lead to a stronger sentence if she is found guilty.
"I didn't want to do that trail because I was afraid that, I mean there is a cliff right there," Graham told detectives. "And you could fall. And he [Johnson] said, 'I could do this with a blindfold on.' And he said, 'I could just put it on, take a step but I wouldn't even fall.' And I was like – and it just kept going through my head that, um, you are going to fall or something."
Police did find a piece of cloth in the area where Johnson's body was found; DNA tests are currently being performed to see if it could have been used. Meanwhile, Graham maintains that she only shoved Johnson in a fit of anger and had no intention of killing him. Graham has pleaded not guilty to first- and second-degree murder charges and making false statements to law enforcement.