United States v. Moore
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
846 F.2d 1163 (1988)
The United States government (plaintiff) prosecuted James Vernell Moore (defendant), a federal prison inmate, for inflicting deep bites on two prison guards. The indictment charged that Moore, who had been tested positively for the often-deadly AIDS virus, assaulted the guards by means of a deadly and dangerous weapon—Moore's mouth and teeth. Although Moore was also known to have hepatitis, the indictment did not mention that disease. At trial, an expert witness testified that AIDS probably could not be transmitted by biting, but that nevertheless deep bites could infect the victim with so many types of virus that potentially those viruses could cause a victim serious harm. Moore asked the judge to instruct the jury that, to prove his mouth and teeth were a deadly and dangerous weapon, the government (plaintiff) needed to show that AIDS could be transmitted by biting. The judge refused Moore's request, and the jury convicted Moore. Moore appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Timbers, J.)
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