Home

PAGES 16 to 30

 

PAGE 16

 

about to meet two people that will change his fate for ever.

As he is walking down those steps he doesn't know what is

about to occur because no one has ever asked him or said

anything was going to happen there, or asked him to come over

there for any specific purpose, and as he is walking down

those steps he sees an individual he had never met before by

the name of John Graham. The evidence in this case will show

that John Graham was known also as John Boy Patton and was a

friend of Theda Clark's. There was a young woman laying on

the couch under a blanket and they don't introduce her to

Arlo. Arlo meets John Graham, also known as John Boy, they

converse, don't talk really about much, and suddenly this John

Graham is talking about a rope, and Theda is talking about a

rope, and John Graham takes this young woman off of the couch,

has her get up, and ties her hands behind her back. Arlo

Looking Cloud doesn't know if they are together, doesn't know

what their relationship is, doesn't really know what is going

on, but he knows enough not to ask questions and not to talk

to them about it. Well, John Boy leads this young woman, who

turns out to be Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash, up these steps on this

night in December of 1975. Arlo through the years has made

statements about this, and you will find in this case that for

thirty years approximately Arlo has been, well, not a

productive member of society, he's lived on the streets, he

has been drunk, he has used drugs, he has abused his body, and

JERRY J. MAY, RPR. CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 17


he has done many things, I think that the evidence will bear

out, that affect his memory and his ability to recall events

and his ability to communicate about events, but that night

this 22 year old boy who was there walked up those stairs and

yes, he thought something was amiss, and he didn't do anything

to stop it. And as they go out into the car this poor lady is

put into the back of the car and Arlo drives. And he doesn't

make any excuses about driving. But he thought that they were

just going to Rapid City. Theda mentioned something about

this girl talking too much. Nothing about we are going to

take her to Rapid and she is going to be interrogated, nothing

about we are going to take her to Rapid and she is going to be

killed, nothing about please help us kill this woman in

furtherance of the movement. So they drove all night to Rapid

City. Arlo drives some of the time, he sleeps some of the

time. There isn't much conversation in this car on the way

up, and Arlo knows something isn't fitting right here, but he

is not asking questions, and Theda and John Boy act as though

they know what is going on, act as though they heard something

about what might happen, but they don't talk to Arlo about it.

They get to Rapid City in the early morning hours and they

drive to an apartment that is up by the Mall out by the

highway, Knollwood Heights. This apartment is rented by a

woman that we find out later is named Thelma Rios. At the

time Arlo did not know whose apartment it was, they get in to

JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 18


the apartment, there is no furniture in the apartment, someone

is either moving in or moving out of the apartment. John

Graham sleeps in a room with Ms. Pictou-Aquash, Arlo sleeps on

the floor, there is no furniture in there, they sleep for a

period of time. Theda Clark, the fifty'ish Indian woman who

asked Arlo to drive up there in the first place does not stay

in this apartment, and they just sleep there. Arlo wakes up

at some point in the day, we don't know just exactly what time

of the day, and he takes the car down to put gas in it. And

as Arlo is at the gas station he runs in to a person that he

knew from living on the reservation by the name of Tony Red

Cloud. And this Tony Red Cloud asks Arlo to come over to his

house. Arlo goes over to his house, spends some time with

him, eats with him, don't know whether they drink or not, but

they spend a period of time together. Arlo goes back to the

Knollwood Heights apartment, and Theda and John Boy are mad at

him because he is gone with the car. As he gets back they say

we have to go to the reservation. And everybody gets in the

car, they drive down to the reservation, Arlo drives for a

period of time, doesn't drive all the way, remembers stopping,

remembers sleeping a period of time, remembers switching

drivers, ultimately ends up out in front of a house in Rosebud

near the hospital. And at this time he is with Anna Mae, he

is with Ms. Pictou-Aquash, and John Boy Patton and Theda Clark

go in to this house, they don't tell Arlo what they are going

JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 19


in for, Arlo doesn't know what they are going in for. At this

point he doesn't remember Ms. Pictou-Aquash saying anything

about begging to be let go at that point. I guess the

evidence will have to bear itself out on that. But

none-the-less there's never been any discussion about anybody

killing anybody up to that point in time. Up to this point in

time they stopped several places in Rapid City, stopped on the

side of the road and places to get gas and things like that.

And John Boy and Theda come out of this house and Arlo is

thinking, well, maybe I can finally get back to Denver. They

come out, they get in this Pinto, they drive toward Kadoka.

Arlo doesn't know what they are driving toward Kadoka for. He

is wanting to go back to Denver, he is not driving the car,

Theda is driving the car. John Boy is there, and they act as

though they know what is going to happen, but nobody talks

about it. The car pulls on that lonely highway going north

toward Kadoka, straight up on the map to Kadoka, and Theda

Clark pulls a U-turn and goes back and forth several times and

stops on the side of the road. As she stops on the side of

the road there is no conversation about what is going to

occur. As she stops on the side of the road John Boy Patton

gets out of that car, John Boy Patton who is bigger than Arlo,

John Boy Patton tells Ms. Pictou-Aquash to get out of the car

and begins leading her off in to the ditch. At this point it

is either John Boy or Theda say to Arlo come on, get out here.

JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 20


Arlo gets out of that car, he does not know what is going to

happen, he starts to walk up there, he doesn't march her up to

the side of the cliff, he doesn't grab her arm. He doesn't

help take her to the cliff. He is following along not knowing

what is going to happen, and he is thinking they are going to

let her go way out here. Then he hears her start to pray, and

in his mind he starts to think we are going to pray. Bam, at

that point John Boy Patton pulls out a gun and shoots this

woman in the back of the head. Arlo reels from it, Arlo did

not know that was going to happen. Arlo has never met this

man before. She falls over this cliff, the white shale cliff

of the Bad Lands, she falls 25 feet down into the bottom of

this ravine. The photo you see here was taken years later,

but in the pictures you see in the evidence in this case it is

white shale, it is clear, free of vegetation. And Arlo

standing there on this edge of this ravine, and John Boy

Patton turns around and he looks at him and he has a gun, and

what does this young 22 year old man think of? What does he

do? He doesn't know what is about to happen. He says to

Graham give me the gun. Graham reaches out, hands him the

gun. And Arlo fires the gun over the ravine until the gun is

empty, and he did it because he was afraid this man who just

put a bullet in this woman's head would do the same to him.

And he hands the gun back to him, relieved that the gun is

empty. As he hands the gun back, they walk back to the

JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 21


vehicle. They get in the vehicle. They start going back to

Denver. They stop at a bridge and John Boy Patton, John

Graham wants to bury the pistol. Arlo wants to help bury the

pistol, because if John Graham doesn't have a pistol, then no

one else will get shot. They go down below the bridge and

Arlo helps dig that hole and they bury that pistol, and they

drive to Denver. When they get to Denver Arlo Looking Cloud

falls off the face of the earth as it relates to the American

Indian Movement. When they get to Denver he stays away from

the American Indian Movement. While he lived close to Troy

Lynn, and we will see her, and she is a friend of his and had

been a friend of his prior to that time, and while he may see

Theda from time to time because they live in the same town, he

stays away from the American Indian Movement. You will hear

evidence in this case that on the other hand, Mr. Graham, John

Boy Patton had a meteoric rise in the American Indian

Movement, and you will hear evidence in this case he was sun

dancing with the National AIM president, and you will hear

evidence in this case that he actually, well, he stayed with

the Movement. The story doesn't end there. The story doesn't

end there. The story also picks up in 1994. In 1994 when

Arlo Looking Cloud sits down with the FBI, sits down with the

BIA, sits down with a lawyer, and tells them what happened,

and at the end of this long interview when Arlo Looking Cloud

told the authorities how John Graham executed Anna Mae, Arlo

JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 22


is released just to go right back out on the streets and be a

street person. You will hear evidence again that the

following year, the following year in the summer of 1995 this

man, Arlo, five foot six and a hundred fifty pounds is

approached again by the authorities, and they asked to take

him out to the scene near Kadoka and to the various places

that he traveled in this ever changing day of fate, and this

crossroads of his life, this December, 1975 that changed his

existence for ever. And what does Arlo Looking Cloud do, he

goes with them and he explains to them just exactly how John

Graham executed this woman that Arlo had never met before. At

the close of this case I will be asking you to decide the main

issue in this case. Which is whether or not the government

can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Arlo Looking Cloud

aided and abetted a murder and had the intent for somebody to

die. I will ask you, too, to look at his words and understand

that a young man who was merely present at something so

horrible as a murder is not responsible in the way the shooter

is. Thank you.

THE COURT: Call your first witness.

MR. McMAHON: Call Roger Amiotte.

ROGER AMIOTTE,

called as a witness, being first duly sworn, testified and

said as follows:

JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 23


DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Roger, would you tell the jury your name, please?

A. Roger Amiotte.

Q. You can sit back a ways from that mic. Where do you

live, Roger?

A. I live eighteen miles south of Kadoka, or ten miles east

of Wanblee.

Q. What is your occupation?

A. Pardon?

Q. What do you do for a living?

A. I am a rancher.

Q. How long have you ranched?

A. Since I was seventeen.

Q. Did you ranch in that area during February of 1976?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. During the February of 1976, did you have an occasion to

discover a body on your land?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Would you tell the jury how that happened?

A. Oh, I was getting livestock out on the highway which

adjoined my pasture, and I was checking fences, and with a

plan of extending a fence in to a Bad Land wall. When I

rounded the curve, rounded the curve in a draw or a gully, and

discovered a body.

25 JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 24


Q. Was that body laying at the bottom of a cliff?

A. Yes, it was.

Q. What did you do when you discovered the body?

A. I immediately returned to my house, which is a mile

away, and called the Tribal police.

Q. Then did they come to your house?

A. Yes, they did.

Q. Did you take them out to where the body was?

A. Yes, I did.

MR. McMAHON: Your Honor, do you want me to ask

permission to approach each time?

THE COURT: No, you can approach.

(Exhibit 4 marked For identification.)

BY MR. McMAHON:.

Q. Mr. Amiotte, I hand you what's been marked Exhibit 4,

Can you tell me what that is?

A. That would be the body that I discovered.

Q. Is that a picture of the body as you actually saw it

there that day when you first found it?

A. Yes, it is. As near as I can tell that would be.

MR. McMAHON: Offer Exhibit 4, Your Honor.

MR. RENSCH: No objection.

THE COURT: Exhibit 4 is received.

25 JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

 

PAGE 25

 

MR. McMAHON: May I put this on the screen, Your

Honor?

THE COURT: You may.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Mr. Amiotte, can you see the picture on the computer

next to you?

A. Yes, I can.

Q. Is that the same picture you just identified as Exhibit

4?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. Last year did you have an occasion to show Mr. Bob

Ecoffey where that body was located when you found it?

A. Yes, I did.

(Exhibit 8 marked For identification.)

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. I am going to hand you Exhibit 8. Is that a picture

that shows part of the land that you ranch?

A. Yes, it does.

Q. Does it also show where the body was located?

A. Yes, it is accurate.

Q. Did you in fact take Mr. Ecoffey out there to show him

where the body had been located?

A. Yes, I did.

JERRY J. MAY, RPR. CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877


PAGE 26

 

Q. And you see a little white area in that photograph?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is that where the body was located?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. Let me ask you, Mr. Amiotte, is that land within the

confines of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. Is it land that is held in trust?

A. Yes.

Q. One more thing. In that picture I think if you look at

the back of it, it was taken in August of 2003?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Does that picture accurately depict the land as it

looked back in 1975?

A. Well, not exactly, because owing to erosion, natural

erosion will, the cliff or the bank at the bottom where she

was laying is now, or is now less vertical than it was at that

time.

Q. So that cliff isn't quite as steep now?

A. Pardon?

Q. The cliff isn't quite as steep now as it was?

A. No, it isn't, it is more of a gradual.

Q. Other than that, is it a pretty accurate depiction of

what the land looked like in 1975?

A. Yes, it is.

JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 27


Q. In that picture between the highway and that cliff, it

is hard to see, but it looks like there is a fence along

there. Let me just ask you, was there any fence located

between the highway and that cliff where you found the body in

1975?

A. No, there wasn't. This is basically, it was unfenced

for probably a stretch of a half to three quarter mile.

MR. McMAHON: Offer Exhibit 8, Your Honor.

MR. RENSCH: No objection.

THE COURT: Exhibit 8 is received.

MR. McMAHON: May I publish that, Your Honor?

THE COURT: You may.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Mr. Amiotte, would you draw a circle around the white

area where the body was located. Just put your finger on the

screen and draw a little circle around it.

A. (Witness marks exhibit).

Q. The fence that I was talking about, is this the fence

that is there now that runs right along there?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. That wasn't there back in '75?

A. No, that was entirely open to the highway at that time.

(Exhibit 6 marked For identification.)

JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 28


BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Mr. Amiotte, I am going to hand you what's been marked

Exhibit 6. I would like you to take a look at that and tell

us if you recognize that?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. What is it?

A. It is a picture of the body that I discovered, and it

appears to be a picture of myself setting at the top of this.

Q. Was that taken back when you first discovered the body?

A. Yes, I am sure it was.

MR. McMAHON: Offer Exhibit 6, Your Honor.

MR. RENSCH: No objection.

THE COURT: Exhibit 6 is received.

MR. McMAHON: May I publish this?

THE COURT: You may.

BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Should be on your computer screen now, Mr. Amiotte. Is

that the picture that you just identified as Exhibit 6?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. How far is that from the top to the bottom of that cliff

approximately?

A. Approximately thirty foot.

MR. McMAHON: Thank you, I have no further

questions, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Cross examine.

JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 29


MR. RENSCH: Thank you.

CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR. RENSCH:

Q. Afternoon, sir.

A. Good afternoon.

Q. How far is it from the edge of the road to the tip of

the cliff?

A. Approximately a hundred foot.

Q. Do you call it a cliff, or do you call it a ravine, what

do you refer to it as?

A. Well, actually it was a natural barrier for livestock at

that time. The east side of it was pretty much a cliff

situation.

Q. How close did you get to the body, sir?

A. Somewhere between thirty and fifteen feet.

Q. Did you see any bullet holes in the ground?

A. No, I didn't.

Q. Did you find any rope or anything up on top of the

cliff?

A. No, sir.

Q. Other than the body being present, did you see anything

that was out of the ordinary about the ground around the body?

A. No, sir.

MR. RENSCH: Thank you, nothing further.

THE COURT: Any redirect?

MR. McMAHON: No, Your Honor.

JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 30


THE COURT: Very well, thank you Mr. Amiotte, you

may step down. Call your next witness.

MR. MANDEL: United States would call Nate Merrick,

Your Honor.

NATE MERRICK,

called as a witness, being first duly sworn, testified and

said as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. MANDEL:

Q. Good afternoon, sir, could you state your name, please?

A. My name is Nathan Merrick.

Q. Mr. Merrick, where do you live these days?

A. I live in Walthill, Nebraska.

Q. What do you do down there?

A. I work for the Tribal Court, Omaha Tribal Court, I am a

public defender, paralegal.

Q. Back in 1975 were you employed on the Pine Ridge Indian

Reservation?

A. Yes, sir, I was.

Q. When did you start working there?

A. I arrived at Pine Ridge in 1973 just during the Wounded

Knee occupation. I was a police officer assigned there for

the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Q. Was that your first assignment?

JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, #305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

Pages 31 ~ 45 >>