GREENVILLE - Lakota Ranch Owner Arby Little Soldier Wednesday contended Lightning Medicine Cloud and his mother were killed rather than died of natural causes, disputing remarks made a day earlier by Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks.
Little Soldier, who has been vocal throughout the investigation and at times criticized the way things have been handled, took exception to claims that Lightning may have died from the bacterial infection blackleg. He also disputed Meeks’ claims that the calf was not skinned.
“We thought it was a different scenario... it’s kind of hard to accept all of that.”
He responded to Meeks’ statement that two more buffaloes had died on the ranch since Lightning and Buffalo Woman’s deaths, saying they are believed cases of poison. He also said they’ll be doing testing for blackleg on the ranch.
The press conference concluded with claims by Yolanda Blue Horse, said to be Lakota and of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, that Little Soldier was lying.
“Why don’t you tell the truth, Arby!”
Blue Horse said she was one of seven people whom Little Soldier claimed could have killed Lightning Medicine Cloud.
“The Hunt County Sheriff’s Department did their job. There’s too many questions he can’t answer. There’s too many stories. His stories have changed,” Blue Horse stated.
She added that “the Native American community does not support him in any way,” and that the first thing Arby should have done after learning of Lightning’s death was call the authorities.
Randy Meeks stated Tuesday that Lightning was dead for six days and buried three before his office was notified of the situation. During Wednesday’s press conference, Little Soldier said those were the instructions of Lakota elders.
The Little Soldiers had been questioned during the investigation about reward money offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for Lightning’s death.
“They said that we embezzled money. All that was pledge money for the conviction... It was never put into our account for our money. That was always just a pledge. If they were caught they were going to put the money in. Since there was nobody caught now, the money is still in the people’s pockets and not our pocket,” said Little Soldier.
Sheriff Meeks had told reporters he was closing the more than three month long investigation and that no criminal charges were expected to be filed.
Little Soldier says the Sheriff’s Office conclusion is an “easy way to close the case” and he is in contact with attorneys to decide the proper course of action moving forward.
“Lightning Medicine Cloud was born here on this ranch as a blessing. And we’ve got to keep that in mind. That blessing has got to carry on. And that blessing that he brought spiritually to all the people was the hope of all nations. And this is getting blown out of proportion with everything that’s going on and the direction that it’s going. We need to get it back in light to where it was at, the spirituality of this whole situation and get back on straightened arrow why he was sent here.”