On Thursday April 22, 2010 Richard Vine Marshall was found not guilty of aiding and abetting in the first degree murder of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash. He was charged with providing the gun that was used to kill Annie Mae. The jury ruled after a few short hours that they could not prove "without a doubt" that Richard a.k.a, Dick Marshall knew Annie Mae was going to be murdered. On several occasions Dick Marshall admitted that Arlo Looking Cloud, John Graham, and Theda Nelson Clark arrived at his house with my mother with a note and even his attorney and wife conceded that. It stretches plausibility that with all that is known about what my mother had been put through to the point that he could not see the duress that she was under, and the fact that he pleaded the 5th at grand jury should tell everybody that he has something to hide. Regardless of what the jurys verdict says, he will always share culpability in my eyes. We call upon him to help us find justice by naming the person who wrote him the note asking him to "take care of" our mother.
What happened April 22nd, is that the government failed to prove its case. Richard Marshall was not found "innocent" and will forever be a convicted murderer of Martin Montalieux regardless. Another fact the defence fought hard to keep out of the court room. Confirmed were the testimonies of witnesses who once again confirmed that Annie Mae was murdered by her own comrades within the American Indian Movement, negating the conspiracy theorists lies and deceptions that the FBI murdered her. Also reconfirmed was the fact that Leonard Peltier had put a gun into Annie Maes mouth while interrogating her on suspicion of being an informant, and that after the Jumping Bull shoot out he bragged to Annie Mae and Kamook Banks that one of the agents begged for his life but he shot the motherF$%^&er anyway.
Certain people in Pine Ridge need to take a good look at themselves, and understand that it is not enough to be silenced by fear. This was not a victory for the American Indian Movement or the Lakota nation over the US government. This was a victory for the status quo of violence against women to continue in Pine Ridge and other reservations in the area, where spousal abuse, sexual abuse, and child abuse is endemic. If people want to celebrate that then their social condition will remain unchallenged and unchanged and they will have no one to blame but themselves.
This is yet another misstep in the US Governments botched attempt to bring justice, 35 years overdue, to our mother. Some of the tactics employed by the defence were amongst some of the most reprehensible ever to be paraded in a federal court in South Dakota history. All anyone has to do is follow the motions put forth by defence lawyer Hanna that are in the court record and on the internet to see the tactics used to intimidate and slander witnesses and I am not referring to Arlo Looking Cloud. Hanna has simply used the legal system to immunize himself against legal action because this is the only forum that exists in the United States where you can lie and slander people speaking the truth and get away with it.
This was a dark day in Mikmaq Territory and our hearts are heavy. We look forward to the indictment of Theda Clarke, and the up-coming trial of John Boy Patton Graham in search of justice and closure.
In the spirit of Anna Mae Pictou, Marley Shebala (Navajo/Zuni) — Spokeswoman-Indigenous Women for Justice — firstname.lastname@example.org
We are no longer silenced by fear
The IWJ is a unity sisterhood of women from indigenous nations