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Aquash murder defendant raises 'Indian' issue
Monday, October 27, 2008
Filed Under: Law

A man accused of murdering American Indian Movement activist Anna Mae Pictou Aquash is seeking to have one of the charges against him dismissed.

John Graham, who is Tsimshian from the Southern Tutchone First Nation in the Yukon of Canada, says he can't be charged with aiding and abetting for Aquash's December 1975 murder because he is not "Indian" as defined in U.S. law. Graham is not a member of a U.S.-recognized tribe and neither was Aquash, who was Mi'kmaq from Nova Scotia, Canada.

"Defendants who are affiliated with Indian groups not recognized by the United States government are not Indian for criminal jurisdiction purposes," one of Graham's attorneys wrote in a motion, the Associated Press reported.

Graham faces three counts total. The U.S. Attorney's Office in South Dakota has to file a new indictment because the judge handling the case said the original indictment didn't address Graham's "Indian" status.

Get the Story:
1975 AIM slaying defendant wants 1 count dismissed (AP 10/27)

Relevant Documents:
Order for Trial | Dismissal of John Graham Indictment | New John Graham Indictment

Related Stories:
Trial for Aquash murder delayed to February 2009 (10/20)
Aquash murder defendant opposes early trial (10/16)
Prosecutors seek alibis in Aquash murder case (10/15)
Joint trial sought for Aquash murder defendants (10/9)
Aquash family 'devastated' by delay in murder case (10/7)
'Indian' status at issue in Aquash murder case (10/7)
Judge dismisses case against Aquash murder suspect (10/3)
Aquash, Canadian woman, was 'Indian' prosecutors say (10/1)
Aquash murder defendant seeks dismissal of case (9/25)
Aquash murder defendants to be held in same jail (9/4)
Third man indicted in 1975 murder of Aquash (8/27)
Judge orders evidence search in Aquash murder case (6/24)
Another delay sought in Aquash murder trial (6/19)
Aquash murder defendant seeks trial delay (3/4)
Quick trial expected for Aquash murder defendant (12/12)
Editorial: Hope for healing in Aquash murder case (12/10)
Aquash murder suspect quickly extradited to U.S. (12/10)
Aquash murder suspect loses extradition appeal (12/7)
Canadian man awaits word on Aquash extradition (12/5)
Bill Means: AIM will defend record in court (9/6)
Aquash murder defendant fights extradition (08/10)
Aquash murder defendant appeals extradition (8/2)
Aquash murder defendant loses extradition appeal (6/27)
Aquash murder suspect appeals extradition order (5/18)
Aquash murder suspect remains on house arrest (03/05)
Man convicted of Aquash murder gets new lawyer (09/18)
Aquash family patient as wheels of justice turn (07/10)
Man to fight extradition for murder of Aquash (06/23)
Man charged with Aquash murder free on bail (11/08)



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