Prosecutors don’t have to outline any more facts of 1975 AIM slaying

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_fulltext_caption in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/templates/ja_wall/html/com_content/article/default.php on line 164
src="" alt="
Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_fulltext_alt in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/templates/ja_wall/html/com_content/article/default.php on line 167

By Carson Walker
Sioux Falls, South Dakota (AP) 3-09


Federal prosecutors do not have to provide an outline of their case against one of two men charged with the 1975 slaying of a fellow American Indian Movement activist, a federal magistrate judge ruled March 13.

Richard Marshall’s lawyer asked for the bill of particulars.

But Judge Veronica Duffy wrote in her order denying the motion that though the indictment was “bare bones,” government attorneys have provided “mountains of other information” to help Marshall defend himself on charges he provided the handgun that co-defendant John Graham used to kill Annie Mae Aquash.


Both men pleaded not guilty to charges they committed or aided and abetted the first-degree murder of Aquash on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Their trial is scheduled to start May 12 in Rapid City.

Marshall’s lawyer, Dana Hanna, asked the judge to dismiss the case against Marshall on the grounds the government has inconsistent theories about his involvement and that it waited 33 years to charge him. Those requests have not been acted upon.

Hanna also asked the judge to order prosecutors to file a bill of particulars because the indictment is vague and does not include enough information to prepare a defense or prevent any surprises during the trial.

According to the motion, details he sought included: the date and location Marshall supposedly aided and abetted Aquash’s murder, the names of other people involved, exactly what Marshall is accused of doing and saying, and who shot Aquash.

Marshall has acknowledged in court documents that Aquash was at his house that night and that she was possibly bound and held against her will, the prosecutor wrote. 

U.S. Attorney Marty Jackley argued that Marshall has all that information through court documents and evidence.

Duffy agreed.

“By Mr. Marshall’s own estimation, he has been the recipient of over 5,000 pages of documents in discovery in this case,” she wrote.   

The prosecution theory is that Marshall gave a .32-caliber revolver and shells to Graham, Theda Clark and Arlo Looking Cloud when the trio stopped by Marshall’s house with Aquash on Dec. 12, 1975, hours before she’s alleged to have been killed.

At the time, Marshall was awaiting trial on a charge he killed Martin Montileaux on March 1, 1975, at a Scenic bar, a crime for which he was ultimately convicted.

Marshall has acknowledged in court documents that Aquash was at his house that night and that she was possibly bound and held against her will, the prosecutor wrote.

 Looking Cloud

Jackley wrote that Marshall even offered in his own court filing the argument he couldn't have provided the gun because he was awaiting trial on a charge he killed Martin Montileaux on March 1, 1975, a crime for which he was ultimately convicted.

As a condition of pretrial release from jail on that charge, Marshall's rifle and shotgun were at his late mother and stepfather's house, his lawyer argued.

Jackley wrote an "obvious flaw" with that argument is, the Aquash murder weapon was a handgun, not a rifle or shotgun.

"Defendant Marshall has failed to prove the legal or factual basis to support his request for a Bill of Particulars," he wrote.

Graham is from the Yukon and fought his return to South Dakota in British Columbia until his extradition in 2007.

Looking Cloud is originally from Pine Ridge but was living in Denver when he was arrested. He was convicted in 2004 for his role in Aquash’s murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Clarke, who lives in a nursing home in Nebraska, has not been charged.

Aquash was from Pictou Landing in Nova Scotia, Canada.


See related article: Feds: Aquash was bound and raped before 1975 execution

See narratives of historical NFIC investigation into Aquash murder case

See other historical articles on the Aquash case at

See related article: Prosecutors refuse details of cooperating Witnesses

See related 2001 Editorial: It's murderers who make headlines and devastate families


The following people testified in the 2004 trial of Arlo Looking Cloud. Their names are linked to their testimony in the case: Nate Merrick, James Glade, Don Dealing, John Munis, Dr. Gary Peterson, William Wood, Evan Hodge, Kimberly Edwards, Darlene Nichols, Mathalene White Bear, Bob Riter, Raymond Handboy, Joan Decker, Angie Janis, Troy Lynn Yellow Wood, Denise Pictou, Candy Hamilton, Jeanette Eagle Hawk, Cleo Gates, Richard Two Elk, John Trudell, Robert Ecoffey, part one, Robert Ecoffey, part two, and David Price.