December 10th, 2013
10:17 AM ET

Montana Bride Jordan Linn Graham Goes On Trial In Husband's Fatal Fall From Cliff

The defense and prosecution agree on this much: Jordan Linn Graham pushed her husband of eight days, and he fell off a cliff to his death in Glacier National Park in Montana.

The question for jurors will be whether Graham's act was murder or a case of self-defense that ended tragically, CNN's Kyung Lah reports.

The two sides set out their opening arguments Monday about what took place as Graham's trial began in U.S. District Court in Missoula, Montana.

Prosecutors said they would show that Graham, 21, was having serious second thoughts about her marriage before her husband's death and willfully lied to police after it.

But her defense lawyers said that the death plunge was an accident resulting from an argument. Graham initially lied to police, they said, because she was afraid she wouldn't be allowed to explain what happened on the cliff edge.Her husband, Cody Johnson, disappeared July 7. Four days later, the FBI says, Graham led friends and relatives to a popular spot in the park, where they found Johnson's body.

The defense and prosecution agree on this much: Jordan Linn Graham pushed her husband of eight days, and he fell off a cliff to his death in Glacier National Park in Montana.

The question for jurors will be whether Graham's act was murder or a case of self-defense that ended tragically.

The two sides set out their opening arguments Monday about what took place as Graham's trial began in U.S. District Court in Missoula, Montana.

Prosecutors said they would show that Graham, 21, was having serious second thoughts about her marriage before her husband's death and willfully lied to police after it.

But her defense lawyers said that the death plunge was an accident resulting from an argument. Graham initially lied to police, they said, because she was afraid she wouldn't be allowed to explain what happened on the cliff edge.

Her husband, Cody Johnson, disappeared July 7. Four days later, the FBI says, Graham led friends and relatives to a popular spot in the park, where they found Johnson's body.

See HLN Legal Analyst Joey Jackson and Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin weigh in on the trial on "New Day" Tuesday:

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October 10th, 2013
10:28 AM ET

People Engrossed in Phones Miss Murder on Train

If somebody pulled out a gun on a crowded train you were riding on, would you notice? These people didn't.

Why? They were too into their smartphones, a San Francisco prosecutor says.

The September killing of 20-year-old Justin Valdez on that busy train was shocking enough. The shooter, apparently picking the victim at random, shot the San Francisco State University student in the back.

Also shocking, the prosecutor says, was the initial actions of bystanders. Or inaction.

"Some are no more than two to three feet to him," said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon "We're seeing people that are so disconnected to their surroundings. This is not unique. People are being robbed, people are being hurt, people are being run over by cars because they're so disconnected because of these phones."

A suspect has been arrested for the killing and pleaded not guilty, authorities said. But the phenomenon of witnesses being distracted by technology may continue, Gascon said. CNN's Kyung Lah reports the latest.

SEE FULL STORY

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October 2nd, 2013
10:40 AM ET

Colorado Rock Slide Kills 5 Members Of One Family; Teen Survives

The rescuer didn't see the teen trapped under the rubble at first. But he heard her scream.

Then he saw a hand sticking out of the rocks, Chaffee County Undersheriff John Spezze told reporters Tuesday, and he started digging.

Authorities say Gracie Johnson, 13, was the only survivor of a deadly rockslide Monday that killed five members of her family - including her parents, sister and two cousins who were visiting on vacation, CNN's Kyung Lah reports.

The horrifying details of their deaths on a popular mountain trail have shaken this close-knit town of about 3,000 people.

But no one seems to be surprised by what the teen reportedly told the man who helped pull her from the rubble - that her father saved her life.

"She said her dad jumped on top of her to protect her right at the last moment when the rocks were coming down," Sheriff's Deputy Nick Tolsma - the rescuer who first spotted Gracie's hand sticking out from the rocks - told ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday.

That's the kind of thing people in Buena Vista expected from father Dwayne Johnson, an electrician and part-time assistant high school football coach.

"He would have done the same for any of our children, absolutely," said Jennifer Eggleston, a family friend.

FULL STORY 

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September 26th, 2013
12:03 PM ET

One-Month Prison Sentence Ends For Montana Rapist

His lenient sentence and the judge's comments about his victim sparked national outrage and protests.

On Thursday, Stacey Rambold, an admitted rapist, was released from incarceration after just 31 days.

The former high school teacher walked out of the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge and had to check in with his parole officer.

He dashed in avoiding CNN's Kyung Lah's questions.

Though Rambold won't be a free man exactly; he's on probation for the next 14 years, 11 months.

SEE FULL STORY 

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