1975 Pine Ridge slaying appeals combined into one

Sioux Falls, South Dakota (AP) 5-09

Two appeals pending over the 1975 killing of a Canadian woman on the Pine Ridge Reservation will move forward as a combined case.

John Graham and Richard Marshall were set to stand trial last week in Rapid City on charges they committed or aided and abetted the murder of Annie Mae Aquash.

But the judge delayed it until the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on whether one of the counts against Graham should have been dismissed. A federal judge dismissed the aiding and abetting charge after Graham’s attorney argued successfully the AIM member accused of murdering Aquash may not be an American Indian as defined by US federal law.

U.S. Attorney Marty Jackley appealed the dismissal of that charge that is similar to a count that was thrown out from an earlier indictment, which he also appealed.

Instead of handling both appeals separately, the 8th Circuit filed an order May 19 granting a request to consolidate them.