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PAGES 161 to 175

 

 

PAGE 161

 

record, you know, that's up to you. I thank you for the

information, but that is all there is to it.

MR. RENSCH: Thank you, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Alright, bring in the jury, please.

(Jury Enters)

THE COURT: You may proceed.

BY MR. RENSCH:

Q. Ms. Nichols, as of September of last year isn't it true

that you had received approximately $24,000 in moneys or

services from the government in this case?

A. Yes.

Q. And you have also been told that living expenses for you

will be paid for a period of time into the future, is that not

so?

A. No.

Q. How much money have you received so far in the year 2004

from the federal government in connection with your

cooperation in this case?

A. $25,000.

Q. This year you have, the year 2004?

A. 2004, yes.

Q. How did you receive that, was it by way of a check?

A. It was in my bank.

Q. Is $25,000 a lot of money to you?

A. No.

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

 

PAGE 162


Q. It is not a lot of money to you?

A. Because in the business I work in I can make that kind

of money in a couple of months.

Q. How long does it take you to make $25,000?

A. Well, when I worked on a big budget movie if my salary

is $2,200 a week, then it takes a couple of months.

Q. Last year, for example, were you employed the entire

time?

A. No.

Q. How many movies did you work on last year?

A. Two.

Q. How much did you make on each one?

A. Total, they pay you per contract, it was only $9,000.

There that was for PBS.

Q. Was that for each movie you worked on, or was that total

what you made?

A. That was total.

Q. So if it takes you a year to make $9,000, it seems to me

that $25,000 would be quite a lot of money, would you agree?

A. No.

Q. Do you value having $25,000?

A. Well, it covers expenses to where I needed to move to.

Q. Have you taken any steps to write a book or anything

like that?

A. No.

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

 

PAGE 163


Q. Do you have an agent ?

A. No.

Q. Have you contacted somebody to possibly be your agent in

the future?

A. No.

Q. Do you have plans to write a book?

A. No.

Q. Do you have plans to sell your story?

A. No.

Q. Could plans change at some point in the future do you

think?

A. No.

MR. McMAHON: I object, speculation.

THE COURT: I will let the answer stand. Ask your

next question, overruled.

BY MR. RENSCH:

Q. How many children do you have, Ma'am?

A. Four.

Q. These are children you had with Mr. Dennis Banks?

A. Yes.

Q. How old are they?

A. 19, 23, 28 and 29.

Q. And you were with Mr. Banks from what, 1972 to about

1989?

A. Yes.

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

 

PAGE 164


Q. Did you love him?

A. Initially.

Q. How long did you live with him without loving him?

A. About three years.

Q. So you loved him until about 1986?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you have a criminal record of any sort?

A. At the moment I can apply for a job and put no.

Q. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?

A. Yes.

Q. How many times?

A. Once.

Q. How long ago?

A. In 1976 or '77.

Q. Is that something that you, does that arise out of some

of these acts you testified to on direct?

A. Yes.

Q. Which one of them?

A. From when our car blew up in Kansas I was charged with

possession of firearms. I was on probation for three years.

Q. Were you charged in Federal Court or in State Court?

A. I think federal.

Q. Has anybody talked to you about helping you get that off

of your record in connection with this case?

A. You mean the charges from back in 1976?

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

 

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Q. Yes.

A. It was already removed from my record when I completed

the probation. I was under 23 and they told me then the law

says that when you complete your probation without any

violations your record is expunged?

Q. And you were good friends with Ms. Pictou-Aquash,

weren't you?

A. Yes.

Q. The best of friends?

A. She was a very good friend of mine.

Q. You have told people that she was your best friend in

the past, have you not?

A. She was when she lived with me.

Q. What year was it that she lived with you?

A. In 1974.

Q. 1974. Okay. In 1974 you loved your husband Dennis

Banks, didn't you?

A. Yes.

Q. Now what year did you learn then that Ms. Pictou-Aquash

was having a sexual relationship with your husband?

A. In 1975.

Q. What month?

A. June.

Q. That would have been approximately the time of the

Farmington, New Mexico matter, is that right?

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

 

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A. Yes.

Q. You were angry with Ms. Pictou-Aquash, weren't you?

A. When I learned about it I was.

Q. That hurt you when you found out that your best friend

would have sex with your husband, didn't it?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it funny?

A. No. I mean it would hurt anybody I think, so it didn't

just hurt me.

Q. Were you angry at your husband for that too?

A. Yes.

Q. As you went on through your relationship with Mr. Banks

and you continued being married to him, did this situation

with Ms. Pictou-Aquash still bother you?

A. At different times.

Q. The fact that she was with your husband?

A. Yes.

Q. In fact, it bothered you up to 1986, didn't it?

A. No, probably not that long.

Q. Do you hate your husband, your ex-husband Dennis Banks?

A. No.

Q. Do you want to hurt him?

A. No. He is just the father of my children.

Q. You would never want to do anything that would hurt the

father of your children?

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

 

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A. I would never do anything that would hurt him because he

is the father of my children.

Q. Of course if were you to hurt him, that would hurt your

children, would you agree?

A. Pretty much.

Q. So you wouldn't want to do anything to hurt him because

it could hurt your kids?

A. My children are, have been my life since I have had

them.

Q. Is there a part of you that wants to use

Ms. Pictou-Aquash to hurt your husband?

A. No.

Q. The way that he hurt you?

A. No.

Q. By using her?

A. No.

Q. You went into your husband's house wearing a wire and

questioned him about these matters, didn't you?

A. We never discussed Anna Mae.

Q. You went into his house wearing a wire to record what he

said, didn't you?

A. Nothing about Anna Mae.

Q. Did you wear a wire to record what he said?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you do that?

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

 

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A. In October I think of 2002.

Q. Now back when you were with Dennis Banks in the early

seventies, let's start with 1972, that was a volatile time for

the American Indian Movement, wasn't it?

A. Yes.

Q. You saw many things that were crimes, didn't you?

A. In 1972?

Q. The early seventies?

A. No.

Q. How about 1975, did you witness any crimes in 1975?

A. Just that I traveled with them and we were fugitives.

Q. You told the jury that you were present when some bombs

were placed by the power plant in Pine Ridge?

A. Yes.

Q. We can agree that's probably a crime?

A. Yes.

Q. You were present when people were making

Ms. Pictou-Aquash make bombs, weren't you?

A. Yes.

Q. You helped make bombs, didn't you?

A. No.

Q. You never touched them?

A. I never touched those bombs.

Q. You never touched any bombs?

A. I touched a piece of dynamite that was not attached to a

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

 

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bomb.

Q. What were you doing that for?

A. Because Leonard was teaching us how to make the bombs.

Q. When you were in the American Indian Movement and when

you saw these things, you didn't go to the police and tell

anyone about them, did you?

A. No.

Q. Why not?

A. Well, at the time I was committed to the Movement, and I

believed in what the movement stood for at the moment.

Q. What happens if you disagreed with what was going on,

could you keep quiet about things?

A. What happens if I disagreed right then?

Q. Yes.

A. I never talked to anybody about anything.

Q. So in the American Indian Movement in 1975 when you

would see something that was illegal or that you didn't agree

with, you would keep quiet, wouldn't you?

A. Yes.

Q. Because you can't always know how people are going to

react if you say something, isn't that true?

A. I just didn't talk about it, didn't think about what

people were going to react to.

Q. It could be dangerous if you would have tried to step in

and change things as they were occurring for you back then,

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

 

PAGE 170


couldn't it?

A. I never thought about stepping in to change anything

back then.

Q. In the motor home incident up in Oregon, is it your

testimony to this jury that Ms. Aquash was basically being

held captive that whole time?

A. She, when she traveled to the store she was always with

somebody, if she went shopping she was with somebody. She was

never alone.

Q. Well, were you with her when she was away?

A. I never traveled with her to the store.

Q. So if you were not with her when she was away, how do

you know whether or not she was left alone?

A. Because my sister was with her.

Q. And was your sister sent to be along with her to keep an

eye on her?

A. My sister and Leonard traveled with her to the store.

Q. What is your sister's name?

A. Bernie Nichols.

Q. Did you ever have to watch Anna Mae during this time?

A. No.

Q. You never had to keep an eye on her at all?

A. No.

Q. And it is your position before this jury that she wanted

to get away and no one would let her go, is that right?

JERRY J. MAY, RPR, CM 400 South Phillips Avenue, tt305A
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104 (605) 330-4877

 

PAGE 171


A. She told my sister she asked to go home and they told

her she couldn't.

Q. Well, were you there when she said that?

A. No.

Q. So you don't know for sure if she said that, do you?

A. My sister told me.

Q. But your sister was one of the people who was watching

her, wasn't she?

A. My sister was traveling with her. They never directly

said to my sister we are going to go to the store and you keep

an eye on her.

Q. No one ever directly said to you that someone was to

keep on eye on Ms. Pictou-Aquash, isn't that true?

A. No, it was never said to me.

Q. And you never heard anyone other than your sister

recount possibly what Ms. Pictou said other than her, you

never heard anyone tell another person to make sure to keep an

eye on Ms. Pictou-Aquash, did you?

A. Not in Washington.

Q. Okay. Did you at any point out there on the West Coast

hear anybody say that they should keep an eye on

Ms. Pictou-Aquash?

A. No, they just did. She was never alone.

Q. No one told you that they were keeping an eye on

Ms. Pictou-Aquash for any reason, did they?

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

 

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A. No.

Q. So when you tell this jury they were keeping an eye on

her so that she couldn't leave, you are making an assumption,

aren't you?

A. If that is what I believe, I believe that that is what

was going on.

Q. You are telling us what you believe, right?

A. Yes.

Q. But you are not telling us that you observed that, are

you?

A. I never observed that.

Q. As you were watching what happened out there as you are

with these fugitives, and you yourself were a fugitive,

weren't you?

A. When I was in Washington state?

Q. Yes?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay, meaning you missed a court appearance?

A. Right.

Q. You were on the federal firearms charges, or explosives

charges?

A. Right.

Q. So at this time you were a fugitive. During that period

of time did you believe then that she was being held captive?

A. I believed that she would not have been, if Dennis and

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

 

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Leonard didn't want her to be there.

Q. I appreciate that's what you believe, but my question to

you is did you believe that she was being held captive as you

were with her out there and you were all in the motor home?

A. She was never tied up or anything in that capacity of

being captive.

Q. Did you believe that she was being held prisoner, or her

freedom of movement was being restricted as you were with her

during that time period?

A. I think if she wanted to leave there would have been an

incident.

Q. Were there any instructions given to anybody in your

presence about what would happen if she tried to leave?

A. No.

Q. Did you ever see her try to leave?

A. No.

Q. Did you ever see her make any phone calls asking someone

to come and pick her up?

A. No.

Q. Did she ever ask you for help in trying to leave?

A. No.

Q. During this period of time were you her friend?

A. Yes.

Q. But during this period of time you thought she wouldn't

have been able to leave if she wanted to, correct?

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

 

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A. I think if she tried to leave something would have come

up.

Q. With all that in mind, you also tell this jury that your

husband at that time felt she was an informant, is that true?

A. I believe that.

Q. And you have also told this jury that Leonard Peltier

felt that she was an informant, isn't that true?

A. Yes.

Q. And these are dangerous people, aren't they. Banks and

Peltier?

A. Once Leonard made the disclosure, then, yeah, I realized

what he had done, then, yeah, you could say he was a dangerous

person.

Q. And if he thought that somebody was not with him, is it

your testimony to this jury that they could be in danger?

A. If they were not with him?

Q. Yeah, if they were an informant against him?

A. Yeah.

Q. So as he said that, did you think that Ms. Pictou-Aquash

was in danger from him while you were all in the motor home

together?

A. I realized she was scared once we left.

Q. Did you do anything to help Ms. Pictou-Aquash in her

predicament in the motor home?

A. We were living in the motor home.

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

 

PAGE 175


Q. I know. Did you do anything to make it so that she

could leave?

A. No.

Q. Why not?

A. She never asked to leave.

Q. Did you do anything prior to the time that you found out

that she was dead to help her in any way in light of the fact

that people thought she was an informant?

A. No.

Q. Why not?

A. Because I didn't know who did this to her.

Q. But you have told us that as you were married to him you

had an idea that your husband did this to her?

A. I assumed that he knew who did this to her.

Q. And you assumed that when he told you that a body had

been found on February 24, isn't that correct?

A. He told me it was Anna Mae that had been found on

February 24.

Q. It was at that point you put the two and two together,

is that right?

A. That's when I started thinking about it.

Q. At that point did you do anything at all to alert

anybody about your suspicions?

A. No.

Q. Is part of that because when you are in the American

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

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