Transcript for Newlywed Bride Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder
This is a special group. Report from -- -- I'm tired and is in New York this is an ABC news digital special report the newlywed bride accused of pushing her young husband off a cliff Kelley him. Just eight days after their wedding will be going to prison 22 year old Jordan Graham has agreed to plead guilty to second degree murder. In exchange the first degree murder charges she faced would be dropped. And we have ABC's Ryan Owens who was in the courtroom on the phone to tell us about how this all went down -- talking just a short time ago. What has changed since that. Well everything has changed I promise you we have some dramatic closing argument that we -- jury deliberation. And -- -- having none of that as soon as we got back from break -- expected the judge to announce the jury instructions. The judge set a development has been reached in this case and he called Jordan -- -- to -- front of the courtroom made her -- -- -- -- right and and she pleaded guilty to second degree murder in exchange that you mentioned or. But that is obviously a lesser charge than first degree murder which would have been our ability at least at this onto the -- Okay do we know any more details about the deal was -- -- -- that came from. The defendants did the prosecution offered from our conversation earlier -- like the prosecution really have the upper hand in the courtroom. For for the duration of the trial. We don't know officially all I can tell you it's reading a bit between the line it -- that this what impact Jordan Graham's decision but she did not want this. To go. To the jury we talk shortly. -- after this happened with her -- defense attorneys one of whom -- very well known. He actually was the defense attorney for the unabomber. Are up in this part of the world also very experienced -- an attorney and he made it clear that this was an agreement reached with his client. -- -- -- So while I don't know exactly where it came from it does seem that the defense attorneys were at least a little this point it would. Now she's definitely spare herself. From the mandatory life sentence that would come with -- first degree murder conviction. Possibly the death penalty do we -- the death penalty was on the table in this case and and what a second degree murder conviction might mean in terms of sentencing. The death penalty was never on the table in this case and that's important to point out. But we should also point out that with second degree murder there is a huge range life in prison is a possibility it is up to the judge. He will make that determination. She could face anything from just a couple of years now -- in the federal prison system. -- up to life in prison and a judge wanted to make sure absolutely sure she knew that. This pretty extraordinary tie for thirty minutes maybe 45. He actually real Jordan grand. -- -- -- They're gonna have to tell me exactly what happened on top of that what did you say to your husband -- -- EU. What -- -- what were all lying how that -- look very interesting after. A lot of us were disappointed not to -- Jordan Graham testify today. In some sense she had to and she had a -- walk on one with the judge. To satisfy him that she understood that she was making a plea that could that. We've heard in federal prison for the rest of her like this -- -- will be at the end of march so we'll have to wait a few months the find out exactly what happened with Jordan -- It's fascinating -- after all this time as he said we did hear from her and she told her story under oath. I did we learn any -- specifics about what had happened outside of what the prosecution had alleged and what was her demeanor -- -- First of first part of your question -- she stocked exactly too early this story and in fact the judge actually that -- but. -- -- kind of stories out of your help sort need to hear the real one and she stopped to the one her latest on -- -- -- the FBI there were argument. She pushed in bulk that -- Com. Art -- -- the second part here question there older demeanor. You know she went exactly as she has -- this entire time she try to do nothing but yes and no -- -- there. And the judge that what that's not gonna cut it. She stood there on -- mostly saying yes the noted that you're gonna have to form complete and that the ma'am you're gonna have to explain to -- some might that this action. Or right after we deal. So -- that's what happened I mean she would not overly apologetic but she -- have to say. On -- and matter of factly that she had a reckless disregard. Or her husband wife when she pushed him and -- -- I pushed that would both ban. Our -- the judge ended up accepting -- -- and Nigeria and we must talk about these jurors. But for the last four days have been working so art. They walked hand and obviously had no earthly idea what going on they were expecting their jury instruction they get their -- as well. And suddenly this federal judge the -- thank you for your time but we're not going. Meter services after all -- agreed. Q plea to second degree murder they were dismissed and exactly two seconds later the US marshals put the -- -- program. And she is now in their custody until -- Okay -- wanted to talk about that that sentencing date in just a moment but did she seem frightened into or shaken at all but the prospect that now she will definitely. Go to prison even -- we don't know for how long. You know try I don't know that issue is so difficult to read and I mean as we've talked about or that's been part of this entire proceeded. -- -- and emotional and how she's seen so stoic. You know. The funeral. -- she was arrested I mean she's just a young woman that doesn't -- a lot of expression don't know why don't they cut off here. The only. Real emotion now we -- from Jordan Graham -- that I mentioned earlier. Early in the day when her wedding videos were played and you saw -- dancing with Cody. You know and exchanging it without -- actually cried about point. There was plenty of emotion in the courtroom -- point outweigh in the sense or not sentence when you except it. -- -- -- But we've not seen much. Jordan's mother was crying holding the hand of her husband in the gallery. And then a number of members of Cody family. -- cried as well it just spoke with few minutes ago. And she was speaking -- -- saying that there are satisfied that they -- Think the prosecution team and -- that they're just happy hour over. So far we haven't got talent from Jordan. -- -- Jordan grand taking -- -- cops can we assume she will be in federal custody until that sentencing and when will that sentencing -- -- 47 at 9 AM but mark your calendars. All right interesting case and fascinating. Twist. At the very last minute Jordan grounds. Pleads guilty to second degree murder just before the jury. Was to be charged with the case in just before closing arguments as well ABC's Ryan Owens in Missoula. Montana thank you so much once again for joining us. And the newly -- murder trial is over ending in a plea deal for second degree murder sentencing to take place in March you've been watching ABC news. Digital special report on time Hernandez stay with abcnews.com. For the latest project --
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