Juror discusses SD reservation slaying conviction

By Nomaan Merchant
Rapid City, South Dakota (AP) December 2010

A member of the jury that convicted a man of murder in the 1975 slaying of an American Indian Movement activist tells The Associated Press that jurors weren’t all sure he pulled the trigger.

Barry Winter says the jury came to a swift consensus that AIM activist John Graham was culpable in the death of Annie Mae Aquash. He says they later agreed there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him of premeditated murder, opting instead for a conviction on the charge of felony murder.

Winter said he personally believes Graham shot Aquash but that other jurors suspected a different AIM activist did.

Graham faces a mandatory life sentence for his role in the incident, which remains linked to AIM’s often-violent struggles with federal agents during the 1970s.


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