Aiding murder charge dropped in 1975 US slaying

May 1, 2009 04:55


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A judge has dismissed a charge of aiding and abetting murder against one of two men accused in the 1975 slaying of a fellow American Indian Movement member. US District Judge Lawrence Piersol filed the order Thursday in the case against John Graham. He says that for Graham to be charged, he must have been a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe when Annie Mae Aquash was killed on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Graham is a member of the Tsimshian Tribe in Canada. He and Richard Marshall face federal charges in Aquash's death because tribal status gives the US government jurisdiction in the case. Piersol says there's no "authority for this proposition" that Graham is part American Indian. Prosecutors say they've appealed the dismissal.

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