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Associated Press, Published February 11 2011

Woman in AIM slaying case dies of lung cancer

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A woman who recently pleaded guilty to being an accessory in the 1975 slaying of an American Indian Movement activist has died of lung cancer.

Family members tell the Rapid City Journal that Thelma Rios died Wednesday in Rapid City. She was 65.

Randy Connelly, who represented Rios when she pleaded guilty in the death of Annie Mae Aquash on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation, says Rios was "a warrior" for the Lakota. He doubts she knew the time she had to live when she agreed to the plea.

Attorney General Marty Jackley doesn't expect her death to affect any possible future charges in the Aquash case.

Two AIM activities were convicted in Aquash's death, which remains synonymous with AIM and its often-violent clashes with federal agents in the 1970s.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.