Crime and Courts

Dec 11, 2013 12:25 AM by Dennis Bragg - MTN News

Jurors see possible blindfold for 1st time in bride's murder trial

MISSOULA - Jurors hear about a possible blindfold which prosecutors treat as a key piece of evidence in the Jordan Graham murder trial. But while the panel got to see pictures, the actual cloth remains out of view for now.

It was an early start Tuesday for testimony in the trial of Jordan Graham, accused of killing her husband by pushing him over a cliff in Glacier National Park last summer.

With a dozen witnesses taking the stand, jurors heard stories from Graham's friends, describing her as "calm" and "quiet" in the days after Johnson disappeared. Much of the testimony focused on text messages, sent back and forth from Graham to the couple's friends before, and right after, the fatal fall.

Those friends included Kimberly Martinez, who elaborated on her comments Monday the couple may have been arguing over sex in the days after their wedding. She said texts focused on that intimate relationship a "little bit" and Graham's inability to talk with her husband.

Much of the testimony came from Kalispell Police officers, who confronted Graham during two lengthy interviews recorded by a camera hidden in the clock of an interview room.

Those tapes show officers telling Graham to "be honest with them" as they delved into the inconsistencies of her story saying Johnson had disappeared with "some car buddies" that fateful Sunday.

Other friends described Graham insistence on searching for her husband at The Loop Trail, saying she "had a feeling" he was there, saying it was a place Johnson had initially planned to propose to her, a spot he "wanted to see before he died." Some described her "giggling and texting" while they searched for Johnson before leading them to his body.

But what happened on the cliff is still in question.

Late in the day, the jurors got the first mention of a cloth found downstream from where Johnson's body was floating in a pool, a cloth prosecutors contend was used as a blindfold.

Judge Donald Molloy allowed pictures, but upheld a defense motion attacking whether the cloth was kept away from other hairs that could have floated separately downstream, raising questions about DNA evidence.

Wednesday marks day three in this trial and we're expecting the prosecution to continue to present its case with more expert witnesses taking the stand.

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