A jury in US federal court deliberated for less than two hours before delivering a not guilty verdict in the trial of Richard Marshall, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe [Lakota Nation] who was charged with aiding and abetting in the murder of American Indian Movement warrior, Anna Mae Aquash, a Mi’kmaq from Nova Scotia, Canada. Prosecutors alleged Marshall had provided the gun that was used to kill Aquash.
When Aquash’s body was found on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in 1976, FBI tried to conceal her identity and true cause of death, having her buried as an unidentified “Jane Doe” who had supposedly died of “exposure”, despite an obvious bullet-hole wound to her head.
The government’s star witness against Marshall was Arlo Looking Cloud, also Oglala, who was convicted for Aquash’s murder in 2004 and is serving a life sentence in federal prison. During Marshall’s trial, Looking Cloud repeatedly contradicted his prior statements to law enforcement agents and the testimony of others during his 2004 trial, and he admitted to years of drug and alcohol abuse and repeatedly lying to law enforcement agents. Multiple offers and agreements between Looking Cloud and the government were also revealed, showing that Looking Cloud had motive to lie about others in order to reduce his own prison time.
Two other former American Indian Movement members await trial in state court in relation to Aquash’s murder. John Graham is charged with premeditated murder, felony murder committed during a kidnapping and felony murder related to rape and Thelma Rios is charged with premeditated murder and felony murder committed during a kidnapping.
The state court trial for John Graham is scheduled to start July 6.The case against Graham is also based on the lies and fraudulent statements of Looking Cloud, spurred on by the FBI.
The story and a photo of Richard Marshall being set free can be found at the Rapid City Journal website: