Defense rests in Aquash murder trial without calling any witnesses
The trial into the 1975 kidnapping and murder of American Indian Movement activist Anna Mae Pictou Aquash came to a close this morning when the defense declined to call witnesses.

Attorneys for John Graham, a Native man from Canada, were expected to present their case today. But they rested, cutting short what had been expected to be a lengthy trial.

State prosecutors could still call more witnesses. The Associated Press said some of the people who were expected to testify hadn't been called to the stand.

Graham is on trial for kidnapping, murder and sexual assault. He was initially charged in federal court for Aquash's December 1975 murder on the Pine Ridge Reservation but the indictment was dismissed because he is not an "Indian" as defined by federal law

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, who handled the Aquash case when he was serving as U.S. Attorney for South Dakota, decided to bring charges against Graham in state court. The crimes are alleged to have taken place in Rapid City, off the reservation.

Graham's co-defendant, Thelma Rios, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, pleaded guilty for her role in the murder. She has not testified so far.

Get the Story:
Defense rests quickly in trial of slain American Indian Movement activist, calls no witnesses (AP 12/8)
Prosecution rests in Graham murder trial (The Rapid City Journal 12/8)

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