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Continued: Teenage brother breaks down, says newlywed bride lied repeatedly about husband's death

  • Article by: MATT VOLZ , Associated Press
  • Last update: December 10, 2013 - 6:10 PM

Graham has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, second-degree murder and making a false statement to authorities.

There were no witnesses to what happened the night of July 7.

Andy Nelson, Graham's federal public defender, has said Johnson's death was a tragic accident that occurred after she had finally worked up the nerve to talk to Johnson about her grave doubts about their marriage. When he grabbed her arm, she pushed him to remove his hand, the lawyer said.

Graham did not want to report the accident because she was afraid, and in her naivete, invented an implausible story, the lawyer said.

She told slightly different versions to people about how Johnson had left that night with friends Graham did not know, her friend Kimberly Martinez and police said.

"I was trying to give Jordan the benefit of the doubt, but things weren't adding up for me," Martinez said.

Kalispell police Sgt. Chad Zimmerman, who interviewed Graham the day after Johnson was reported missing, also said her story did not match up with what others had told him.

"I had no way of knowing how much she was saying was true and how much not true," Zimmerman testified.

Graham returned to the Kalispell police station the next day, saying she had received an email from a person she didn't know named "Tony" who told her that Johnson was dead and to call off the search.

Another detective interviewed her about the email and Johnson's disappearance, and Graham's details of that night appeared to contradict what she had told Zimmerman the day before.

The email turned out to be a fabrication, sent from an account created that day from a computer belonging to Graham's stepfather, authorities said.

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