Thelma Rios, 65, Oglala Sioux, and one of the American Indian Movement members involved in the 1975 murder of AIM activist Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, died Feb. 9 at Rapid City Regional Hospital, in South Dakota, according to the Rapid City Journal.
Rios, who was a longtime advocate for American Indians, was diagnosed with lung cancer shortly after her attorney Matt Kinney negotiated a plea deal, reported the Associated Press.
She pled guilty as an accessory to kidnapping in November and was sentenced to 5 years in prison, but a judge suspended the sentence and ordered her to serve five years probation, reported AP.
Now that Rios is deceased, it remains to be resolved if any of her statements in the case would be admissible in court, Kinney told the Rapid City Journal. He assumes that there are ongoing state or federal investigations of other suspects in the case.