Two men pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court yesterday to less serious charges than they had been accused of in two separate homicides last September.

Ricky M. Vinston, 21, of 1420 Downing St. NE, entered a plea of guilty to one count of robbery growing out of the homicide of Gloria Whipple, 51, an artist who was beaten and kicked to death near the Smithsonian Institution.

Vinston and two other Washingtonians had been indicted on felony, murder, rape and robbery charges in the case. Court records disclosed that Vinston had been allowed to plead to the lesser charge in exchange for his promise to provide details of Whipple's death to prosecutors.

In a second case, Leon Tyrone Redd, 18, of 1758 Stanton Ter. SE, was permitted to plead guilty to manslaughter and second-degree burglary charges in the strangulation of George K. LaRoach, 34, a Navy petty officer, in his Southeast apartment.

Redd also agreed to give the government details about the case in exchange for the permission to make his pleas.

Redd had been named in the indictment in the LaRoach case along with the same two men named with Vinston in the Whipple case. Redd and Vinston were accused of involvement in only a single homicide.

The LaRoach portion of the indictment alleged sodomy, burglary and robbery, as well as felony murder. The two homicides occurred about two hours apart on the same night, police reported.

The two other accused men -- Charles P. Patterson, 19, of 1816 Frederick Place SE, and Roy Leasure, 19, of 524 Atlantic St. E -- have entered pleas of innocent to all charges in both homocides.