Home

PAGES 401 to 415

 

 

PAGE 401

 

refresh him with or impeach him with.

MR. McMAHON: I thought he was going to try to

impeach him, and there wasn't anything pending.

THE COURT: That's what I thought, too, but I think

we have that ironed out, I think.

MR. RENSCH: So everybody knows, the predicate

questions I asked him about him claiming that she was begging

in the car, that's what this impeaches, that's why I was

asking those previous questions.

THE COURT: Let me look at what you are looking at.

MR. RENSCH: Right here.

MR. McMAHON: I don't think that even talks about

it.

MR. RENSCH: I think a prior inconsistent statement.

MR. McMAHON: Why is it inconsistent?

MR. RENSCH: Because he said she was begging in the

car, here it says she wasn't. It says what ever she was

stating to him when she was by herself with him in the car.

MR. McMAHON: What ever she was saying, it doesn't

say she wasn't saying.

MR. RENSCH: If she wasn't saying, that would imply.

THE COURT: I don't think so, but you can do what

you want, but that doesn't mean I am not going to sustain an

objection, we will see.

(End Bench Conference ).

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

 

PAGE 402


BY MR. RENSCH:

Q. Sir, you have just indicated to us that

Ms. Pictou-Aquash was saying things to Arlo while he was alone

in the car, and that's what Arlo had reported to you, okay. I

would like to ask you if you made this statement on another

occasion. Page 8. Statement by you. And he and Anna Mae

stayed in the car, and what ever he was saying, and I don't,

see what I think is I don't think that whatever she was saying

to him when he was by himself with her in that car, I think

she was saying the same things to the rest of them when they

were going. Did you make that statement, sir?

A. Say that again, it's confusing.

Q. Here, let me show it to you. So much for that.

A. Yeah, I probably said that, but I don't, I am confused

by the question.

Q. You don't really remember where it was that Arlo was

saying Ms. Pictou-Aquash was asking to be let go, do you, sir?

A. No, I do remember. It was in the car, because when John

Boy and Theda went in to that house, alright, she was having

this conversation with him not to, about to let her go, her

begging.

Q. What did he say his response was to her?

A. That he couldn't do anything.

Q. Did he say anything to her about not thinking that she

was going to be killed that you recall?

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

 

PAGE 403


A. No, not that I recall.

Q. Do you know an individual by the name of John Graham?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. How do you know him?

A. Well, I met John Boy, I know him as John Boy, but I met

him in the spring of 1976.

Q. Okay. You sundanced with him, didn't you?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. What does that mean to sundance with somebody?

A. I can't say what it means for everybody. For me, you

know, it is like, it is making an offering, it's an offering

of yourself either in return for help that has been given, or,

so it is a personal physical sacrifice that is part of a

mental psychological sacrifice that you make to the people for

this endurance.

Q. Do you do that in a circle?

A. Yes.

Q. Was John Boy in the circle?

A. He was sundancing, yes, he was.

Q. After that point did John Boy take on some position of

prominence within the American Indian Movement?

A. Not that I recall. I mean when you say position of

prominence, I can't say that.

Q. He continued to remain active in the American Indian

Movement ?

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

 

PAGE 404


A. See, during this time in '76 the Butler Robin file on

the FBI thing was taking place in Cedar Rapids, and then I

went to the sundance. Actually maybe it had already, the

trial was over, and then I went to the sundance. And John Boy

was there, because I had some involvement with him there at

the sundance, and then I don't really remember seeing John Boy

again until 1980. I am not going to say I didn't, or '79 and

'80. So he kind of, I mean see I lived in my own reality, my

family was in Nevada, and I was doing what I was doing. So I

wasn't around a lot of activities, but I don't remember seeing

John Boy again until about '80, '79 or '80.

Q. If you were friends with Anna Mae, why, if Arlo said

these things to you in '88, why didn't you call the police and

do something about it?

A. Because I told Arlo that I would say that what he said

to me he said in it in confidence. And I have to respect

that, because I felt it was something he wanted to get off his

chest, and the reality of it is what he said to me, I had to

respect the confidentiality, but at the same time I wanted to

know, because up to that time there had been many rumors Anna

Mae had been spotted here and spotted there, there had been

many rumors around '75, '76, but nobody really knew what

happened. But when I talked to Arlo, it made it more concise

to me. I mean go to police, pragmatic, I mean no offense, but

my relationship with the United States government isn't a real

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

 

PAGE 405


good one. I have no basis to be trusting police, I don't want

to be a pawn and be used against my own people. No, I don't

want that, and what if what is being said is a mistake. So I

can't just, yes. I wanted to know what happened to Anna Mae,

and I kept my agreement to Arlo until later when I see it in

the news from Indian Country these are the things that Arlo

has said, and somewhere because I wasn't the source of that

information, and then I knew alright, I can now publicly do

this.

Q. Let me ask you, based upon what you heard as you looked

in to Arlo's eyes as he was telling you these things, was it

your impression that he wanted her to die?

A. Was it my impression that what?

Q. Arlo wanted her to die based on what he said?

A. No.

Q. Was it your impression that he wanted to help see that

she died when he told you what had happened?

A. No, because he wouldn't have told me if he wanted those

things to happen, but those things did happen.

MR. RENSCH: Thank you, sir. That's all.

REDIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. McMAHON:

Q. Mr. Trudell, you remember the fact that Mr. Looking

Cloud told you Anna Mae was begging for her life in the car?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. You remember that?

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

 

PAGE 406


A. I remember that.

Q. And you remember the fact that he was, she was begging

for her life all the while she was walking out to that cliff

with them?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. And she begged them not to kill her?

A. Yes.

Q. She talked about her two daughters?

A. She was saying what are her daughters going to do. See,

Anna Mae love her daughters very much, because the time I knew

her whatever went on in her family and her daughters, I knew

that was a very traumatic thing for her to not have her

daughters, so she talked about them, I mean before this. Her

daughters were a very focal point in her life, and that night

when they were walking her, yes, she was talking about her

daughters.

Q. I think you said in response to a question by Mr. Rensch

that once they came out of that house on the Rosebud they were

under instructions to kill her?

A. Somebody was.

Q. And they went and did that?

A. Yes.

MR. McMAHON: That's all I have.

THE COURT: Anything further?

RECROSS EXAMINATION BY MR. RENSCH:

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

 

PAGE 407


Q. And Arlo told you that, that somebody gave instructions

for her to be killed?

A. I don't remember the exact words, alright, but they came

out of that house. John Boy, or Arlo told me John Boy and

Theda came out of that house and they drove from there and

took her out and walked her and killed her. Maybe he didn't

say the exact words you are trying to get me to say, but

basically he said that, because see, they weren't --

Q. Is it possible?

A. It's not something they thought up on their own.

Q. Is it possible what Arlo was describing to you was him

sitting out in the car, these two coming out of the house,

getting in the car, driving to a point, stopping the car, and

then this activity took place?

A. Say that again?

MR. RENSCH: Forget it, nothing further.

THE COURT: Anything further?

MR. McMAHON: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Thank you, you may step down. We will

take our noon recess now, and I went a little longer because I

wanted the witness to be able to finish his testimony. So you

are excused, thank you. So we will be in recess until 1:30

this afternoon, thank you. Please stand for the jury.

(Recess at 12:20 until 1:30).

THE COURT: Bring in the jury, please.

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

 

PAGE 408


(Jury Enters).

THE COURT: Call your next witness.

MR. MANDEL: The United States would call Bob

Ecoffey, Your Honor.

ROBERT ECOFFEY,

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

said as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. MANDEL:

Q. Sir, would you please state your name?

A. My name is Robert G. Ecoffey.

Q. Where are you from?

A. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Q. Is that where you are originally from, sir?

A. No, I am from Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

Q. What is your occupation?

A. I am the Deputy Director for the Office of Law

Enforcement Services for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Q. How long have you held that position, sir?

A. Approximately three years.

Q. Can you give me a recap of your law enforcement

background and training, sir?

A. Yes. I have approximately 28 years in law enforcement

starting back in 1975, and I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in

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


PAGE 409

 

criminal justice from Chadron State College, graduate of FBI

National Academy. I have hundreds of hours in terms of

investigative homicide courses, in terms of forensic homicide

investigations, crime scene investigations, and sex crimes

investigations.

Q. Over the course of years what law enforcement positions

have you held?

A. I first started my law enforcement career on the Pine

Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975 as a law enforcement trainee

working for the Tribe under the SETA program. I was assigned

to work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs police department

there in 1975. 1976 I started my official career with the

Bureau of Indian Affairs as a supervisory guard at the Pine

Ridge jail. From 1976 to 1977 I worked as a guard. From 1977

to 1981 the Oglala Sioux Tribe contracted the program there, I

switched over from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, went to work

for the Oglala Sioux Tribe where I served as the training

officer and captain of police. From 1981 to 1983 I was a

Special Agent with the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the Devil's

Lake Sioux reservation in Fort Totten, North Dakota. From

1984 to 1986 as a Special Agent again on the Pine Ridge

Reservation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, stationed

there. Then from 1986 to I think 1989 I was a Special Agent

with the United States Forest Service on the Black Hills

National Forest and the Nebraska National Forest. Then in

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

 

 

PAGE 410

 

1990 I got out of law enforcement for a couple of years, I

went back to work on the Pine Ridge Reservation at the Pine

Ridge agency as administrative manager for two years. Then in

1994 during President Clinton's first administration I had the

opportunity to be appointed as the first Indian United States

Marshal in the history of the Marshals service. I served in

that position for two years. 1996 I left that position,

returned back to Pine Ridge, and served as agency

superintendent for five years on Pine Ridge until taking this

job as the, originally was the Director of the Office of Law

Enforcement Services until about two months ago the Bureau of

Indian Affairs went through a reorganization and changed the

title to Deputy Director.

Q. In terms of your current job, Mr. Ecoffey, do you

supervise BIA law enforcement on reservations throughout the

United States?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Have you, yourself, personally been involved in homicide

investigations over the years?

A. Yes, I have. I have testified hundreds of times in

Federal Court proceedings concerning homicide investigations

throughout Indian country. Majority of those cases were on

the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Q. In particular did you become involved in an

investigation into the death of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash?

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

 

 

PAGE 411


A. Yes, I did.

Q. Can you tell us, sir, what your first involvement in

that investigation was?

A. My first involvement in the investigation actually began

while I was stationed up in Devil's Lake, North Dakota. I got

a call from the FBI and was asked for their assistance. They

had picked up some information, or some leads, I led them down

into the Denver area. I was asked by the FBI to come along

and to assist in interviewing potential witnesses because of

my expertise in dealing with Indian people and dealing in the

area of homicide investigations.

Q. At that time did that pan out at all?

A. No, it didn't.

Q. When did you next get involved in the investigation?

A. Actually the information that really got me involved was

in I believe in 1996, September. Look at my note here for a

minute.

Q. That's fine.

A. My actual involvement was in 1993 when I really got

involved in the case when information came forward when I was

the administrative manager at the Pine Ridge Agency.

Q. What type of information came forward at that time?

A. Individual by the name of Gladys Bissonette came to me

at the agency, I was friends with her, had been friends with

her for a number of years. She was heavily involved with the

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

 

PAGE 412


Wounded Knee occupation and with the American Indian Movement.

I worked with her on some issues there at the agency, and then

I had asked her if she had any information pertaining to the

murder of Anna Mae Aquash. At that point in time she provided

me with the name of an individual that would likely cooperate

with me and come forward and provide additional information.

Q. Who was that individual?

A. Al Gates.

Q. Who is Al Gates?

A. Al Gates is a elderly gentleman who lives in Denver,

Colorado. He was a family relative of Gladys Bissonette. He

came forward, it was actually on June 11 of 1993 when Gladys

came forward with the information. Then on June 18 I had

asked her, I said will Mr. Gates cooperate with me and provide

information about Anna Mae's murder? And she said yeah, I

think he will. That was on June 11, 1993. On June 18, 1993

he showed up at my office at the Pine Ridge Agency.

Q. Let me interrupt you for a second. Without getting in

to what he had to say to you at that time, did he give you

information that moved you further along in this

investigation?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. Before we get in to that, up to that time had you had an

opportunity to review the evidence in the case and had you

done so?

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

 

PAGE 413


A. Yes, I did.

Q. What types of evidence was there available to review?

A. Basically after I got involved in the case when I was on

the Devil's Lake Indian Reservation and I moved back down to

Pine Ridge, it was around 1984, myself and my colleague

Special Agent Mitch Pourier with the Bureau of Indian Affairs

who also worked with me on the case for several years was

reviewing the case at my residence in Pine Ridge, and we

started to reconstruct the case to see if we could determine

what happened to her. And at that point in time we started

looking at the physical evidence that the agents and BIA

criminal investigators left in the file.

Q. Part of that evidence did you review the photographs?

A. Yes, we did.

(Exhibits 43-44 marked For identification.)

BY MR. MANDEL:

Q. Sir, I have handed you what has been marked as Exhibits

number 43 and 44 and ask you if you are familiar with those

two photographs?

A. Yes, I am.

Q. What are those photographs of?

A. This photograph is a depiction of the crime scene of

Anna Mae Aquash. It is a photograph of a bracelet that was on

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

 

PAGE 414


her wrist at the crime scene at the time the body was found.

Q. Are these actually blow ups of a portion of some of the

photographs that were originally taken?

A. Yes, they are.

Q. Were those made from, if you know, from the Polaroids?

A. Yes, these are made from the originals.

MR. MANDEL: Your Honor, I offer Exhibits 43 and 44

at this time.

MR. RENSCH: May I inquire for the purpose of making

an objection.

THE COURT: You may.

MR. RENSCH: Have those pictures in any way been

enhanced by color or anything like that, sir?

A. No, they haven't.

MR. RENSCH: So those are a blow up of a close up of

the small Polaroid, is that right?

A. That's correct.

MR. RENSCH: No objection.

THE COURT: Exhibits 43 and 44 are received.

BY MR. MANDEL:

Q. Sir, as you proceeded in this investigation at that

time, were you familiar with the location where the shooting

had taken place?

A. Yes, I was.

Q. How was it you became familiar with that?

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

 

PAGE 415


A. Myself and Special Agent Mitch Pourier went out to the

scene, Roger Amiotte came out to the scene and showed us where

the body was.

Q. Sir, I am going to ask you to look at Exhibit No. 43

which I have displayed on the screen there, do you see that?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Can you tell us what you observed about that photograph

when you looked at it?

A. One of the things, and I think that it really points out

on this photograph here, is what you can see is clear,

ligature markings on the wrist.

MR. RENSCH: I object, improper foundation for him

to make that conclusion.

THE COURT: Overruled.

BY MR. MANDEL:

Q. When you say ligature markings, what do you mean, sir?

A. Where this individual was tied or bound. Right above

the butterfly bracelet you can see clearly there is markings

in a straight line inconsistent with the bracelet that was

there that would indicate that she was tied up and that at the

time of her death.

Q. So you can draw on that screen just by touching it with

your fingertip. Can you sort of put a circle around the area

you are talking about?

A. (Witness marks exhibit).

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

Pages 416 ~ 430 >>