Feds link 1975 AIM slaying to confiscated gun in earlier killing

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By Carson Walker
Sioux Falls, South Dakota (AP) 3-09

Marshall
The pistol used to kill a Canadian woman who was an American Indian Movement activist was the same one taken from one of the two men charged with being an accessory to her murder, federal prosecutors argued in a court filing.

The attorneys have asked a judge to let them use evidence from another 1975 murder case in the upcoming trial of John Graham and Richard Marshall, who pleaded not guilty to charges they committed or aided and abetted the murder of Annie Mae Aquash later that year.

Their trial is to start May 12 in Rapid City.

The prosecution theory is that Marshall gave a .32-caliber revolver and shells to Graham and two other AIM members who stopped by Marshall's house with Aquash around Dec. 12, 1975, hours before Graham shot her with the gun.

At the time, Marshall was awaiting trial on a charge he killed Martin Montileaux of Kyle on March 1, 1975, at the Longbranch Saloon in Scenic, for which he was later convicted.

U.S. Attorney Marty Jackley and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Mandel have filed a notice that such evidence "is an integral part" of their case against Graham and Marshall because the handgun used to kill Aquash was taken from Marshall after his arrest in March 1975.

Marshall used a .22-caliber handgun to kill Montileaux but investigators also took several other rifles and revolvers from him, including an H&R .32-caliber revolver that was returned to Marshall around June 1, 1975, the prosecutors wrote in their notice.

Marshall used a .22-caliber handgun to kill Montileaux but investigators also took several other rifles and revolvers from him, including an H&R .32-caliber revolver that was returned to Marshall around June 1, 1975, the prosecutors wrote in their notice.

 

Jackley and Mandel wrote that the night Aquash was killed, Theda Clarke, Arlo Looking Cloud and Graham went to Marshall's house in Allen and that Marshall talked to the trio in his bedroom.

During that conversation, Marshall "provided consultation, including the exchange of a handwritten note from Theda Clarke asking if he could take care of this 'baggage'" and gave the three the .32-caliber handgun and shells, the prosecutors wrote.

A pathologist scheduled to testify in the trial said he found a slug of that size in Aquash's head during the autopsy.

Jackley and Mandel argued that the Montileaux details should be allowed in the Aquash case because they fit the legal requirements and support evidence that Marshall aided and abetted Aquash's killing.

"The Montileaux matter is so blended and connected" to Aquash "that proof of one incidentally involves the other with respect to Defendant Marshall's involvement and ultimate role in the murder of Aquash," it explains the circumstances of the meeting at Marshall's house "and logically tends to show why he did not serve as the triggerman in Aquash's murder," they wrote.

Looking Cloud was convicted in 2004 for his role in Aquash's murder and sentenced to life in prison. Clarke, who lives in a western Nebraska nursing home, has not been charged.

Besides Marshall, Russell Means, another AIM leader who went on to become an actor and activist, was charged with killing Montileaux, who died days after being shot in the back of the neck in the restroom of the bar.

Means was acquitted. Jurors convicted Marshall in 1976 and he was sentenced to life in the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

AIM members alleged Marshall was framed for the murder, but an FBI report quoted Montileaux saying that "Russell Means' friend" shot him before he died.

Marshall confessed in 1983, saying he was remorseful and shot Montileaux in what he thought was self-defense. In 1984, then-Gov. Bill Janklow commuted Marshall's life sentence to 99 years and later that year set him free.

Marshall was first paroled Dec. 27, 1984, and came back in on a parole violation Aug. 11, 1989. He was granted parole again Feb. 3, 1993, but was incarcerated again Nov. 23, 1993, because of another parole violation. Marshall was last paroled June 15, 2000.

 

See related article: Feds: Aquash was bound and raped before 1975 execution

See narratives of historical NFIC investigation into Aquash murder case

See other historical articles on the Aquash case at jfamr.org

See related article: Prosecutors refuse details of cooperating Witnesses

See related 2001 Editorial: It's murderers who make headlines and devastate families

 

 

 

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