Posts Tagged ‘Richard “Dickie” Marshall’

Anna Mae Pictou Aquash

Anna Mae Pictou Aquash

The long-awaited trial of Vine Richard “Dickie” Marshall on charges he helped murder American Indian Movement activist Anna Mae Aquash 35 years ago began yesterday in federal court in Rapid City, S.D.

Marshall stands accused of providing the gun used to shoot Aquash as she begged for her life in December 1975. Her body was found weeks later on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Heidi Bell Gease of the Rapid City Journal is covering the trial. She reports here that in opening statements yesterday, defense attorney Dana Hanna told jurors that other AIM activists keeping Aquash captive – they suspected her of being an FBI informant — merely sought a change of clothes, not a gun, from Marshall when they brought her to his home.

“They didn’t ask for a change of clothes so she could have clean clothes when they assassinated her a few hours later,” Hanna said. “They expected to keep her on the run or whatever.”

Bell Gease writes:

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Mandel laid out a different timetable for jurors in opening statements. He said Aquash was taken from Denver to the Wounded Knee Legal Defense Offense Committee house in Rapid City, where she was determined to be an informant after a “kangaroo court trial.”

The case is expected to run through next week. It’s being heard before U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol.

Gwen Florio

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Dick Marshall arrives Friday, Aug. 29, 2008, at federal court in Rapid City, S.D. A magistrate judge ordered him detained on a charge of aiding and abetting the first-degree murder of Annie Mae Aquash on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in December 1975. (AP/Carson Walker)

Dick Marshall arrives Friday, Aug. 29, 2008, at federal court in Rapid City, S.D. A magistrate judge ordered him detained on a charge of aiding and abetting the first-degree murder of Annie Mae Aquash on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in December 1975. (AP/Carson Walker)

It’s taken six years – in a case involving a murder more than three decades ago – to bring a defendant to trial, but Richard “Dickie” Marshall is finally set to go on trial in the killing of American Indian Movement activist Anna Mae Aquash.

Jury selection in the trial in Rapid City, S.D., is scheduled to start tomorrow, the Rapid City Journal reports here.

    Marshall is charged with providing the gun that was used to kill Aquash in 1975 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Another former AIM member, John Graham, is accused of actually shooting her:

    Graham and fellow activist Arlo Looking Cloud were indicted in the case in 2003. Looking Cloud was convicted in 2004 of being an accomplice to Aquash’s murder and sentenced to life in prison. He’s expected to be a key witness in Marshall’s federal trial. Graham has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and murder and could go on trial this summer.

The Journal has a good retrospective piece on Aquash and the history of the case, here.

Today, Theda Clark, considered a key witness, has been ruled competent to testify at Marshall’s trial. Read that story, here.

Follow updates on the case on Buffalo Post.

Gwen Florio

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Seen in this undated file photo provided by her family is American Indian Movement activist Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. Thirty-four years after Aquash's frozen body was found on a South Dakota Indian reservation, the federal case against a man accused of assisting in her killing has been further delayed due to the discovery of a box of evidence in the basement of the Denver Police Department. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the family)

Seen in this undated file photo provided by her family is American Indian Movement activist Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. Thirty-four years after Aquash's frozen body was found on a South Dakota Indian reservation, the federal case against a man accused of assisting in her killing has been further delayed due to the discovery of a box of evidence in the basement of the Denver Police Department. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the family)


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Every time you think the Anna Mae Aquash murder case can’t get any more strange – well, it does.

Now, more than three decades after Aquash was killed, and on the eve of the trial of a man accused of helping to murder her, authorities have discovered a box of evidence – in the basement of the Denver Police Department – relating to the case, according to this Associated Press story:

This Aug. 29, 2009 file photo shows Richard Marshall arriving at federal court in Rapid City, S.D. (Carson Walker/ AP)

This Aug. 29, 2009 file photo shows Richard Marshall arriving at federal court in Rapid City, S.D. (Carson Walker/ AP)

    The attorney for Richard Marshall says the collection of files and recordings labeled “Aquash” — whose existence police revealed to prosecutors in late January — are new to the case.

    Marshall is charged with murder and aiding and abetting in the death of Aquash, who moved to the Pine Ridge Reservation from Nova Scotia in 1973 during the American Indian Movement’s 71-day occupation of Wounded Knee. Prosecutors say AIM leaders suspected she was an FBI informant and ordered her killing in 1975. Prosecutors have said she was not working for the government.

    Marshall’s trial had been scheduled to begin Tuesday [today] in Rapid City, but defense attorney Dana Hanna asked for more time to review the new information. On Thursday U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol ordered from the bench that the trial be moved to April 13…

    State prosecutors have said John Graham and two other AIM members — Arlo Looking Cloud and Theda Clarke — abducted Aquash in Denver and drove her to Rapid City, where she was held against her will and questioned about whether she was an informant. Prosecutors allege Graham raped Aquash and later fatally shot her.

It’s unclear what Marshall’s role is alleged to have been. Looking Cloud is serving a life sentence after being convicted as an accomplice in 2004. Grahm has pleaded not guilty in state court to felony murder. Clarke is in her 80s and lives in a nursing home in Nebraska.

Among the items in the box was a recording of an interview between Denver police and two government witnesses.

Norman Zigrossi, the Rapid City FBI director at the time of Aquash’s killing, says “We’ve been delayed so long, it really doesn’t mean anything. The evidence we have won’t change.”

Gwen Florio

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Arlo Looking Cloud

Arlo Looking Cloud

Convicted murderer Arlo Looking Cloud will lie on the witness stand and should not be allowed to testify in the trial of those accused of killing American Indian Movement activist Annie Mae Aquash in 1975, the defense says.

The Rapid City (S.D.) Journal’s Heidi Bell Gease reports that the defense has asked a federal judge to bar the testimony of Looking Cloud. He’s expected to be the key government witness in the Feb. 16 murder trial of Richard “Dickie” Marshall and John Graham.

Looking Cloud was tried and convicted of first-degree murder in 2004 in connection with Aquash’s death. He’s serving a life sentence.

Bell Gease writes that defense attorney Dana Hanna’s petition cites conversations in jail with relatives:

    “He views his testimony in Mr. Marshall’s trial as an opportunity to convince the triers of fact and the court that he was wrongly convicted of Aquash’s murder,” Hanna wrote in the motion.

    “In those conversations, Looking Cloud has repeatedly told his wife, his relatives and his friends that when he testifies as a government witness in the trial, he will testify that he was innocent of aiding and abetting Aquash’s murder, that he had no intent to murder her, and that he was wrongly convicted in his trial, which he has characterized as a ‘kangaroo court,’” the motion reads. “It is evident from these conversations that Looking Cloud intends to falsely testify that he had no criminal intent to help murder Aquash and that he was innocent of the murder for which he was convicted.”

U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Piersol has not ruled on whether he’ll schedule a pretrial hearing on the request.

Gwen Florio

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Richard Marshall (AP)

Richard Marshall (AP)


John Graham (AP)

John Graham (AP)

Here’s the Rapid City (S.D.) Journal story on the trial date:

By Rapid City Journal staff

John Graham and Richard “Dickie” Marshall are scheduled to stand trial in February on charges that they murdered American Indian Activist Annie Mae Aquash more than 30 years ago.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol has set Feb. 16 as the start of the trial, which is expected to last up to three weeks.

Graham, 53, and Marshall, 58, both face charges in federal court of first-degree murder in connection with the 1975 slaying of Aquash, whose body was found on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in February 1976.

Both men face life in prison without parole if convicted. A third man, Arlo Looking Cloud, was convicted of Aquash’s murder and is already serving a life term.

Graham and Marshall were supposed to go to trial several times previously but the case has been delayed because of legal issues regarding the indictment.

Meanwhile, Graham has been indicted on state charges connected to Aquash’s death. That trial is scheduled for March 1, although he has yet to be formally arraigned.

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