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Third man charged in activist's 1975 slaying

/ Source: The Associated Press

A federal grand jury has indicted a third man in connection with the 1975 slaying of an American Indian Movement member on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Vine Richard Marshall, better known as Dick Marshall, of Rapid City, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to aiding and abetting the first-degree murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Marty Jackley.

Prosecution witnesses have testified that Aquash, 30, of Nova Scotia, was killed because AIM leaders thought she was a government spy. AIM leaders have denied any involvement in her death.

Fritz Arlo Looking Cloud was convicted in 2004 and is serving life in federal prison for first-degree murder. John Graham, a Canadian, is also charged with first-degree murder and is scheduled to stand trial Oct. 6.

Marshall, 57, was an AIM leader who served 24 years in prison for shooting a man to death in 1975. Marshall was paroled in 2000.

Marshall's wife, Cleo Gates, testified at Looking Cloud's trial that three AIM members — Looking Cloud, Graham and Theda Clark — drove Aquash to Marshall's house. Gates said Aquash stayed with her in the kitchen while the others went into a back bedroom with her husband.

When a prosecutor asked whether Richard Marshall kept a gun there, Gates said he did not.

Witnesses said that Aquash was eventually taken to the Badlands and that Graham shot her as she begged for her life.

Clark has not been charged. She lives in a nursing home in western Nebraska and has refused to talk about the case.

AIM occupied Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation during a 71-day standoff in 1973 that included a gunfire exchange with federal agents. Aquash, a member of Nova Scotia's Mi'kmaq Tribe, was there.