Pine Ridge AIM slaying defendant wants out of jail

By Carson Walker
Sioux Falls, South Dakota (AP) 4-09

One of two men charged with the 1975 killing of a fellow American Indian Movement member has asked a judge to release him from jail until their trial, which is set to start May 12 in Rapid City.

John Graham and Richard Marshall pleaded not guilty to charges they committed or aided and abetted the murder of Annie Mae Aquash near Wanblee.

Marshall’s lawyer, Dana Hanna, filed an application for pretrial release April 8 on several conditions, including that Marshall stay away from witnesses, not drink alcohol or use drugs, check in daily with authorities, always be with his girlfriend or employer and wear an electronic bracelet.

The prosecution theory is that Marshall gave a .32-caliber revolver and shells to Graham and fellow AIM members Arlo Looking Cloud and Theda Clarke, who stopped by Marshall’s house with Aquash around Dec. 12, 1975, hours before Graham shot her.

Marshall was awaiting trial at the time on a charge he shot and killed Martin Montileaux early on March 2, 1975, at a Scenic bar.


Marshall was convicted in 1976 for the murder and served prison time until his parole in 2000. Hanna said Marshall’s life sentence was reduced to a number of years, which allowed his prison release, in part because he was a “model prisoner.”

He has since lived on the Pine Ridge Reservation, is in a stable relationship with a woman, has stayed out of trouble and can continue working as a laborer with a Rapid City company if he’s released, Hanna argued.

“As can be seen from respected tribal leaders and citizens attesting to his character, Marshall is now a sober, respected member of the tribal community,” the lawyer wrote.

Marshall poses no threat to others, is not a flight risk and is accused of aiding and abetting – not of pulling the trigger or even being present when Aquash was shot, Hanna argued.

“The defendant does not deny that Looking Cloud, Aquash, Clarke, and Graham came to his home. He does deny that he had any reason to believe that Aquash was being held against her will. He denies giving Clarke, Graham or Looking Cloud a gun. And he denies intentionally doing anything to aid Looking Cloud and his accomplices in bringing about the murder of Anna Mae Aquash,” the application states.

Marshall was indicted in August, five years after Graham and Looking Cloud were charged.

Graham has denied killing Aquash and fought his return to South Dakota in British Columbia until his extradition in 2007.

Looking Cloud was convicted in 2004 and sentenced to life in prison for his role in Aquash’s murder and now is a government witness.

Clarke, who lives in a nursing home in western Nebraska, has not been charged.

Aquash’s family reburied her body in her native Nova Scotia in 2004.


See Statement by Maloney/Pictou Family - An Exorcism of Truth: The dismissal of John Graham's murder charges

See related article: Murder charges dropped in Aquash case - Dillon and Gates testimony - Rios appointed attorney

See related article: Prosecutors in 1975 AIM slaying argue to show evidence Canadian victim was raped

See related article:  U.S. indicts Richard Marshall in Aquash murder case

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

See related article: Prosecutors refuse details of cooperating Witnesses

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