5 Things you need to know about Glacier Park murder

Dec 10, 2013 at 11:50 a.m. ET

As opening statements for the "Glacier Park murder" are heard, the public is left to wonder, "What drove a young bride to push her new husband to his death?" Or was it an accident? Here are a few things you need to know about the case.

Jordan Graham Cody Johnson

1) The couple were married for only 8 days

We thought Kim Kardashian's marriage was short, but how things ended for new groom Cody Johnson is no laughing matter. Jordan Graham, who stands accused of pushing her new husband from a cliff in Glacier National Park, was married to Johnson for only eight days when the horrific murder/accident took place. The couple had dated for two years before marrying.

2) Jordan Graham admitted something was wrong

Graham decided to tell her new husband she was having second thoughts and was clearly anxious about it when she texted her friend before Johnson's death. When Graham texted her friend that she was going to confront Johnson, the friend assured Graham that she would pray for her and Johnson. Graham's bone-chilling reply was, "But dead serious if u don't hear from me at all again tonight, something happened." It's interesting that this text message seems to imply that something would happen to Graham, not Johnson. Recent details reveal that Graham also sent a friend anxious text messages regarding Johnson's temper and about having sex with him.

Cody Johnson

3) Graham first reported Cody Johnson as missing

Here's where things take an incriminating turn. On July 8, 2013, folks in Montana started to see Facebook posts about Johnson, who had "gone for a drive with friends, but didn't return." We now know that Graham fabricated the story, just as she fabricated an email from a man named "Tony" that said Johnson was dead and the search for him should be called off. Andy Nelson, Graham's public defender, has tried to justify his client's early lies by saying, "Jordan lied because she was afraid no one would ever let her explain what happened on that ledge."

4) Struggle or surprise attack?

We may never know what really took place at the top of that dangerous cliff in Glacier National Park because only Johnson and Graham really know. Johnson finally admitted that the couple struggled physically when they were on their hike, and that when her husband grabbed her arm, she pushed him away and he accidentally fell to his death. However, photos of Johnson indicate he was pushed face first from the ledge.

5) Blindfold theory

Interesting but questionable evidence has surfaced in this case, much of which has been dismissed by the judge. The Missoulian reported Monday that prosecutors will not be allowed to use evidence that shows Graham fabricated stories of abuse in previous relationships and that she allegedly made comments threatening to kill her parents. The court also ordered prosecutors to not talk about DNA that is tied to a piece of cloth thought to be a blindfold (found close to Johnson's body) in their opening statements. The court is reserving judgment on the admissibility of this piece of evidence, which would clearly blow any and all "accident" claims out of the water.

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