the evidence

Below is a sampling of evidence and legal documents from the case. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge and read captions.

Two years after the incident, Richard La Fuente’s half-sister, 19 year-old Patricia DeMarce aka Sissy Bigtrack, came forward with an elaborate account of Eddie Peltier’s death, comprising a total of six (6) statements, each of which grew with remarkable clarity over time. In her first statement, given to tribal policeman James Yankton, she said her sister had told her that La Fuente claimed he’d been at a party where the skirmish began. In her next statement, DeMarce claimed that it was La Fuente himself who told her about the incident. In her third statement, DeMarce said she herself had witnessed the crime. Over the course of her remaining statements, DeMarce provided investigators with a growing list of perpetrators and onlookers who had been at the party.

Below is a sampling of each of her statements, as well as a statement by her former youth counselor, who was also a well-respected radio news director, vigorously challenging her credibility.


19 year-old Mary McDonald lived next door to Richard La Fuente’s aunt Angeline Dunn, where Richard and John Perez were staying when the incident occurred in 1983. She came forward – some believe miraculously – with the remarkable statement below, just four days after all eleven defendants had been arrested, and would later become a key witness for the prosecution. Like Patricia DeMarce, she was never subjected to a polygraph examination to validate the authenticity of her allegations.


John Dubois gave the following statement to BIA Criminal Investigator Oliver Semans in reference to having seen James Yankton alone with Eddie Peltier, on the reservation, at approximately 5:30am – just moments prior to when Eddie’s body was allegedly found on Highway 57 by Yankton, his brother Roger, Bruce McKay, and Jeanne Charboneau. Roger Yankton had been arrested for DUI just a few hours earlier and was released O.R. along with James, who had been in the car and was too intoxicated to drive.  Dubois was not allowed to testify at trial.


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The Timeline

Click on the arrow icons > in the panels to track the major events of the incident chronologically.