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Inmate Who Tested Positive for AIDS On Trial For Biting Guards

June 22, 1987

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ A federal prisoner who bit two guards after he tested positive for the AIDS virus later said he hoped the guards would get the deadly disease, a prosecutor told a jury as the inmate’s trial began Monday.

James V. Moore, 44, is charged with assault with a deadly and dangerous weapon, namely, his mouth and teeth, in the incident at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., last January.

Moore, who is serving seven years for credit card fraud, is accused of biting guards Timothy Voigt and Ronald McCullough.

In his opening remarks, assistant U.S. Attorney Jon Hopeman said Moore, 44, was examined last year by Dr. Clifford Gastineau, a retired Mayo Clinic physician serving on the medical center’s staff.

Gastineau informed Moore that tests in December 1986 showed he carried AIDS antibodies and Gastineau told him how to conduct himself, including not sharing razors or toothbrushes with other inmates and not engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse, Hopeman said.

In January, Hopeman said, Moore was being taken by guards to a seclusion center after a smoking incident. ″He clamped down and just held on and he bit Voigt as hard as he could for about 5 to 10 seconds,″ Hopeman said.

Three days later, Hopeman said Moore told a nurse he wanted to kill the guards and ″hoped the wound he had inflicted on them was bad enough that they would get the disease he had.″

Hopeman said evidence would show that AIDS is transmitted by blood or other body fluids. It’s not known, he said, whether one of those fluids is saliva.

Hopeman said Moore also had a history of heroin addiction and intravenous needle use and that he also tested positive for hepatitis B.

Defense attorney Kevin Lund said in his opening remarks that there are ″numerous, reasonable doubts″ as to Moore’s guilt.

The court-appointed attorney also asked jurors to keep an open mind and not get caught up in the ″AIDS hysteria.″

Gastineau, the first prosecution witness, said Moore was admitted to the Rochester center in November 1986 suffering from a seizure disorder related to heroin withdrawal and from low back pain.

Moore was very distraught after being told that tests showed the presence of AIDS antibodies, the doctor testified.

Lund, on cross-examination, asked Gastineau: ″There is no scientific or medical evidence that an infected person can transmit the disease to an uninfected person through a bite?″

″That’s correct,″ Gastineau replied.

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