From John Graham, 15 May 2011
After a week long trial and several inconsistent and contradicting prosecution witnesses, and the defense calling no witnesses, a South Dakota jury found me NOT GUILTY OF PREMEDITATED 1975 MURDER OF ANNA MAE AQUASH. After totally contradicting testimonies about the alleged kidnapping from Denver the same South Dakota jury found me guilty of the lesser charge of felony murder kidnapping. In felony murder cases the prosecution does not have to prove that the accused actually killed anyone. Instead the accused is found criminally liable for any deaths that occurred during or in furtherance of a felony. In this case the felony is the kidnapping charge. The murder having taken place in 1975, more than 35 years ago, the many contradictions in testimony was explained by the prosecution as a problem of degraded memory. Their entire case rested on verbal testimony without a shred of material or factual evidence. My defense motion for dismissal of charges because the prosecution failed to prove their case was denied by judge Jack Delaney. Felony murder carries the same sentence as premeditated murder so the judge had no alternative but to sentence me to life with no possibilty of parole. My lawyer filed an appeal on both the sentence and conviction. The trial transcript will be posted on my website in the very near future.