Jordan Graham Tries to Withdraw Guilty Plea - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Jordan Graham Tries to Withdraw Guilty Plea

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA -

Jordan Graham's defense team files a motion to withdraw her guilty plea just two days before the 22-year-old Kalispell woman is set to be sentenced for the murder of her husband, Cody Johnson.

In documents filed by lead defense attorney, Michael Donahoe, he says prosecutors suggestion of a life sentence for Graham has "contaminated the entire sentencing process."

U.S. District Attorneys Zeno Baucus and Kris McLean filed their request of life or at least 50 years in prison for Graham, last week.

However, Donahoe argues this is a sentence for a first-degree murder offender.

In his motion to withdraw the guilty plea, Donahoe says the sentencing recommendations filed by both teams last week serve as the final closing argument to the jury, and accuses prosecutors of using the opportunity to once again make a case for first-degree murder.

Graham copped a plea deal with prosecutors on December 12, during her trial. As part of the deal, Graham pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for prosecutors dropping the charges of first-degree murder and making a false statement, both felonies.

Donahoe now says that plea is moot. He writes:

"It is now clear that the government's offer to dismiss Count I was nothing but an empty promise and a way to avoid a possible manslaughter verdict, which violates due process and defendant's right to a jury determination of her guilt or innocence."

Prosecutors have not yet responded to this motion.

Not long after this motion was filed, Judge Donald Molloy, who will be issuing the sentence, submitted statistics of sentencing for cases like Graham.

He found that nationally, the median sentence is 216 months compared to 212 months in Montana.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Carlton Complex: 71% contained; 251,698 acres burned

    Carlton Complex: 71% contained; 251,698 acres burned

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:22:03 GMT
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. - The Carlton Complex is now 71% contained and is 251,698 acres in size. Firefighters are continuing the hot, difficult work of “mopping up” and strengthening the fire line, especially in the areas south of Highway 20 towards the summit of Loop Loop.>>
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. - The Carlton Complex is now 71% contained and is 251,698 acres in size. Firefighters are continuing the hot, difficult work of “mopping up” and strengthening the fire line, especially in the areas south of Highway 20 towards the summit of Loop Loop. >>
  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • VIRAL VIDEO: Grab a tissue to watch how one bank is thanking its customers

    VIRAL VIDEO: Grab a tissue to watch how one bank is thanking its customers

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:05:29 GMT
    KHQ.COM - TD Canada Trust was determined to thank their customers in a unique and memorable way. About halfway through this video you will understand why it has had millions of views. Grab a tissue for this touching video and hopefully watching this will serve as a reminder to all of us, that a little kindness can go a long way.>>
    KHQ.COM - TD Canada Trust was determined to thank their customers in a unique and memorable way. About halfway through this video you will understand why it has had millions of views. Grab a tissue for this touching video and hopefully watching this will serve as a reminder to all of us, that a little kindness can go a long way.>>