The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

December 13, 2013

Newlywed pleads guilty to second-degree murder

(Continued)

U.S. marshals then led away Graham in handcuffs.

Afterward, federal public defender Michael Donahoe said prosecutors had proposed the plea agreement.

It was Graham’s choice to accept it, he said.

Prosecutors referred questions to U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter, who declined to comment before Graham’s sentencing.

Johnson was reported missing on July 8 when he failed to show up for work.

Graham initially told investigators that Johnson left their house late July 7 with unidentified friends in a dark-colored car with Washington state license plates. Friends of Johnson testified they were suspicious of the story and suspected Graham played a role in his disappearance.

Graham showed police a fabricated email purportedly from a friend of Johnson that said Johnson was dead and to call off the search. The next day, she told Glacier park rangers she found Johnson’s body near The Loop because it was a place he wanted to see before he died.

She finally acknowledged that she was with Johnson on the cliff after investigators confronted her with a security camera photo of the couple entering the park.

Prosecutors presented jurors with dozens of text messages between Graham and her friend from church, Kimberly Martinez, that documented how Graham’s nervous excitement at the prospect of the wedding turned into despair over the week that followed.

Graham’s attorneys said her doubts about her marriage did not mean that she would intentionally harm him.

They attempted to chip away at the prosecution’s image of Graham as a cold, dispassionate woman who didn’t want to marry Johnson, and their contention that she led him to a dangerous precipice in the Montana park and deliberately pushed him to his death.

They showed the jurors pictures and videos of Graham smiling as she had her hair done and tried on her borrowed wedding dress, then videos of the June 29 wedding and the couple’s first dance.

Text Only
National News
  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 29, 2014

  • Medicare hospital fund to last 4 years longer

    Medicare's finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program's giant hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year's estimate.

    July 28, 2014

  • After 6 weeks, finally a deal on VA health care

    After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 28, 2014

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III faces a $1.7 million civil suit filed by a brother over a lifeline to save a family carpet business.

    July 25, 2014

  • Official: Hospital gunman intended to kill others

    A psychiatric patient ranted about a hospital gun ban before opening fire at the suburban medical complex, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back, authorities said Friday.

    July 25, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

     

    July 25, 2014

  • Illinois woman, 47, dies rescuing boy in Wisc. lake ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — Friends and family are mourning the death of an Illinois woman who drowned while rescuing a 9-year-old boy in a Wisconsin lake.The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports 47-year-old Karen Wessel of Arlington Heights d

    July 25, 2014

  • Taiwan plane crash photo Air travel a leap of faith for passengers WASHINGTON (AP) — Airline travel requires passengers to make a leap of faith, entrusting their lives to pilots, airlines, air traffic controllers and others who regulate air travel.Even after a week of multiple tragedies in worldwide aviation, “There

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

AP Video
Facebook