The young newlywed who fell to his death at a Montana national park in July plummeted face first after his wife allegedly pushed him with both hands, according to attorneys prosecuting the case.
Jordan Graham, 22, is fighting for her freedom as she prepares to go on trial for allegedly killing her husband, Cody Johnson, at Glacier National Park, just eight days after their wedding. Graham's trial is scheduled to begin Monday in U.S. District Court in Missoula. Jury selection is expected to last one to two weeks, and dozens of expert witnesses are expected to be called.
Graham has pleaded not guilty, and her attorney says Johnson fell by accident during an argument with her that got physical.
Newly released legal briefs give a first look at how the two sides will make their cases.
Bride Accused of Pushing Husband Off Cliff Wanted 'Cops Out of It'
"The defendant pushed Mr. Johnson in the back with both hands. Mr. Johnson fell face first to his death," prosecutors say in the documents.
This seems to contradict the defense's argument that Johnson fell by accident after Graham pushed his arm away during an argument.
According to charging documents in the case, Graham told a friend that she was having second thoughts about the marriage, and that she said that she wanted to talk about her issues with Johnson the night he died.
U.S. attorneys say they plan to prove that for nine days after Johnson's death, Graham went to great lengths to "hide her crime from friends, family, and law enforcement," even allegedly sending herself emails from a fake account she created named "Tony."
"Prosecutors have to prove that she intended to kill him that this was not an accident," legal analyst Ada Pozo told ABC News.
In their legal briefs, Graham's attorneys admit her "story changed over time," but maintain Johnson's death was an accident.
The defense also writes in its brief that despite expected testimony that Graham had gotten cold feet about the marriage, "witnesses thought the wedding was perfectly normal."
"This case is going to come down to whether the jury believes that she really regretted this marriage so much that she just pushed him off the edge literally," Pozo said.
Graham's attorneys revealed their plan to paint a starkly different image of her husband's lifestyle, which they call "reckless."
Johnson was reported missing on July 8, after he failed to show up at work.
When interviewed by authorities the following day, Graham claimed that she saw "a dark-colored car pulling out of the driveway" after receiving a text from her husband saying he was heading out with a friend from out of town, according to the affidavit.
Graham reported the discovery of Johnson's body to a park ranger on July 11, according to the affidavit. When the park ranger commented that it was unusual that she was the one to make the discovery, Graham allegedly said, "It was a place he wanted to see before he died."
Police had to use a helicopter to retrieve Johnson's body from the steep cliffs below the park's Loop Trail. His body was recovered on July 12.