SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A judge in South Dakota has dismissed the indictment against a Canadian man in the decades-old slaying of Annie Mae Aquash, a fellow Canadian aboriginal activist.
John Graham was charged with the shooting death of Aquash on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1975. Both Graham and Aquash,, a Mi’kmaq from Pictou, N.S., were affiliated with the American Indian Movement.
Graham’s lawyer asked federal Judge Lawrence Piersol to dismiss the indictment against his client on technical grounds.
The lawyer argued that the U.S. government didn’t have jurisdiction because the accused and victim were both members of Canadian tribes.
Prosecutors argued that the indictment was sound because the other man indicted and already convicted, Arlo Looking Cloud, fits the U.S. definition of Indian.
Although Monday’s scheduled trial in Rapid City, S.D., is now off, officials say prosecutors can seek another indictment against Graham.