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)
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)
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.”
Tags: American Indian Movement, Anna Mae Aquash, buffalo post, Denver Police Department, Native American news, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Richard "Dickie" Marshall