Court of Appeals: HIV-infected man's saliva not a weapon

By Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York's top court says the saliva of an
HIV-infected man who bit a police officer doesn't constitute a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument under state law.

In dismissing the aggravated assault conviction of David Plunkett, the Court of Appeals is sending the case back to a lower court for resentencing.

The 48-year-old Plunkett is serving a10-year sentence at Sing Sing after pleading guilty to assault as well as aggravated assault on an officer after punching and biting his finger in 2006 at a medical clinic in the Mohawk Valley village of Ilion.

The court says saliva should be treated the same as teeth, which it concluded in 1999 don't qualify as dangerous instruments because body parts come with the defendant.

Federal health officials say HIV transmissions from bites are "very rare."

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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