But first, the surprise plea deal in the so-called newlywed murder trial. Jordan graham pleading guilty to second-degree murder, admitting of pushing her husband of eight days off a cliff. Abc's ryan... See More
But first, the surprise plea deal in the so-called newlywed murder trial. Jordan graham pleading guilty to second-degree murder, admitting of pushing her husband of eight days off a cliff. Abc's ryan owens has been following the case from the very beginning, there in missoula, montana. Good morning, ryan. Reporter: Good morning to you, robin. Jordan graham is now officially an admitted murderer. And she is locked up here this morning. You're right. She surprised everybody. A woman who has said nothing the entire trial suddenly stood up just before closing arguments to say one word. Guilty. Jordan, how are you feeling? Reporter: He didn't testify during her murder trial. But the judge wasn't about to let jordan graham off the hook. He made her stand before him and answer questions about the july night she pushed her new husband, cody johnson, off a cliff. She told the judge, it was definitely a reckless act. And I just pushed. What was said that made you so angry? It wasn't anything that was said. He grabbed me. I pushed his hand off. And I pushed him away. Did you push with both hands? Yes. The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, bringing a sudden end to a trial that lasted half as long as her eight-day marriage. Graham's attorney says prosecutors offered the deal and she took it because it takes first-degree murder off the table. Are you satisfied it ended this way after all this? My satisfaction is not an issue here. All I can say is the ultimate plea that entered. Reporter: Her mother sobbed, hearing her daughter admit to being a murderer. Cody johnson's mom left court without saying anything. But his aunt spoke for the family. What do you want to say? I want to say the family is very thankful for the outcome of this case. It was very emotional. It's been a long haul for us. And we really don't have anything else to say, except that we are very thankful for our prosecuting team. And we have the outcome that we have. Reporter: Did it matter to you to hear the word guilty come out of her mouth? Yes. Surprisingly, it stirred up an emotion that I didn't anticipate. Our thanks to ryan owens. We're going to bring in our chief legal affairs anchor, dan abrams. This was quite a surprise by many. But the judge wanted to hear from her before accepting that plea. That's right. He wanted to make sure she understood what she was doing. Make sure she was accepting responsibility for what she had done. And he wanted to make it clear how serious a crime this is. He repeatedly said you're talking about the possibility of up to life in prison. Now, as a practical matter, this wouldn't be a life in prison case. Probably would have been if she was convicted of first-degree murder. Now, you're starting around 20 years as a possible sentence. I think it will go slightly below that because she's now pled guilty. Because she's accepted responsibility. And I would have liked to hear the conversations between the prosecution and defense as to whether the prosecutors were saying, do you accept this plea deal, we won't ask for as stiff a sentence. But we'll see exactly what happens. You think that conversation probably took place. You think she was offered a deal beforehand? I think she would have been offered the exact same deal. Meaning, I think when this case started, they probably offered her a deal for second-degree murder. At the time, she said no. You have to ask yourself, why is she accepting it now? Is it because they said they would try to give her a lenient sentence? Is it because they thought the case was going badly? Unclear. We'll find out. The sentencing in march. We have a story of what seemed like an ordinary american
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