Prosecutor: Newlywed Blindfolded Husband, Pushed Him Off Cliff
(CNN) — A Kalispell, Montana, newlywed accused of pushing her husband from a cliff wants her trial postponed after prosecutors told her attorney they have evidence her husband was blindfolded before falling to his death, court documents say.
Saying the prosecution has provided no evidence regarding the use of a blindfold — which could be used to make the government’s case for premeditation and thus first-degree murder — Jordan Linn Graham’s attorney, Michael Donahoe, asserts that he is unprepared to defend his client if the trial is held in December as planned.
Donahoe further said he learned of the “blindfold theory” and the DNA testing of “a piece of cloth found on a shoal in the river” only during an October 25 conference call, more than three weeks after it was sent to an FBI lab and 10 weeks after it was collected from the alleged crime scene.
That timing is important, the attorney says, because if the “alleged blindfold” was not sent to a lab until at least October 2, the day before the indictment was filed, it “would suggest the blindfold theory was not put to the grand jury at all.”
“If, as is stated in the complaint affidavit, Jordan and Cody (Johnson) were arguing intensely on the ledge, it hardly seems plausible that the argument would cease abruptly so Jordan could apply a blindfold,” says Donahoe’s brief supporting a motion to dismiss the case. “Frankly at this point the defense has no idea of how the government intends to try this case before the petite jury and likewise has grave doubt about what was put before the grand jury.”
Donahoe further slams the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for its handling of Graham’s interrogation and subsequent report based on that interrogation. The case is being handled federally because the alleged crime happened in a national park.
The report, which alleges an FBI interrogator inappropriately touched Graham’s knee during the interview, states that almost an hour and a half of Graham’s interrogation was not recorded, despite the necessary equipment being on hand. Failing to preserve such evidence, which includes Graham’s first admission that she had previously lied, is a violation of Graham’s rights, the defense brief says.
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