Breaking News: John Graham Found Guilty

(NFIC) December 2010

A South Dakota jury has found John Boy Patton Graham of Whitehorse, British Columbia Canada guilty of Aiding and Abetting (Kidnapping) the 2nd degree murder of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash on or around Dec 10-12, 1975 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The Rapid City jury of 5 men and 7 woman found Graham not guilty of pre-meditated 1st degree murder but debated the issue for nearly a day before return a spit decision with one juror saying that they agreed within 4 hours that Graham aiding and abetted the kidnapping/murder of Aquash from beginning to end, but could not agree if he had been the person who shot Aquash.

Juror Barry Winter said that although he and 11 others came to swift agreement Graham was culpable in Aquash's death, there was disagreement about his role. Arlo Looking Cloud, who was convicted in Aquash's slaying six years ago and is serving a life sentence, was the only witness who testified to seeing Graham kill Aquash. Looking Cloud said he stood nearby as it happened.

The jury eventually decided there wasn't enough evidence to convict Graham, a 55-year-old Southern Tutchone Indian from Canada, of premeditation, Winter said.

"On the first count, we came to a fairly short resolution that he was guilty," Winter told The Associated Press. "On the second one, that's what we spent a lot of time on."

Graham will be sentenced to the mandatory life in prison without parole under 1975 South Dakota murder laws after claiming he was not an American Indian by US government definition and forceing federal charges of murder to be dropped.


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