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Graham hearing delayed again;
Looking Cloud can pick his lawyer

Associated Press (AP)
March 30, 2004

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A Vancouver, British Columbia, judge has delayed a hearing for a man sought by U.S. prosecutors for the 1975 killing of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

John Graham is charged with the killing. He plans to fight extradition to the United States.

His lawyer, Terry LaLiberte, was granted the delay Monday. The hearing was rescheduled for April 30 and is intended to deal with procedural issues so the actual extradition process can start.

"It is far more serious than we first believed," LaLiberte said after Monday's brief hearing. "This is not a simple extradition. There are 25 years of history and 25 years of misstatement of evidence."

He said the extradition hearing itself will likely start in September at the earliest.

LaLiberte said he plans to apply for financial assistance to fund Graham's defense.

And he asked the judge to consider easing the restrictions of Graham's release.

"This man is simply stuck in a house," LaLiberte said.

Graham, who was granted bail Jan. 15 by the British Columbia Supreme Court, has been living under what amounts to house arrest at the home of one of his supporters.

Meanwhile, Arlo Looking Cloud, who was convicted by a Rapid City jury of killing Aquash, has received permission to change lawyers.

According to court papers, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol will allow Ohio attorney Terry Gilbert to replace Tim Rensch of Rapid City as Looking Cloud's lawyer.

Piersol told Gilbert he's welcome to take the case but the judge will not change the April 23 sentencing date.

Gilbert was out of his office and unavailable for comment Monday.

Piersol told Gilbert that if he wants to handle Looking Cloud's appeal, he would need to make that request through the appellate court.

Copyright Associated Press (AP) 2004