Denver DA drops ‘spit as deadly weapon’ charge against HIV-positive man
Lynn Kimbrough, spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, told the Colorado Independent Thursday that the attempted second-degree assault with a deadly weapon charge against HIV-positive William O’Kelly for allegedly spitting on another man, was being dropped. She said the DA would continue to pursue a harassment charge.
Kimbrough said her office felt that it would be unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that O’Kelly had “intent to cause serious bodily injury” when he reportedly spit on Jason Arb during a dispute.
“Let me also say, however, that we are not questioning whether or not HIV can be transmitted in saliva….” Kimbrough said. “I think that that is pretty well understood that the [Center for Disease Control] has their information out that HIV is not transmitted through saliva. They have not had a documented case. So acknowledging that, proving attempted second degree assault in this particular case would require that we would prove the intent and we don’t believe that we can do that.”