THE DISTRICT

Man Pleads Guilty in HIV Case

When Louis C. Saunders had a romantic relationship with his girlfriend, he knew he was infected with HIV. She, however, did not, a D.C. prosecutor said yesterday as Saunders pleaded guilty to a felony for infecting the woman with the virus that causes AIDS.

Saunders conceded in D.C. Superior Court that he had told his girlfriend that he was HIV-negative, even though he knew otherwise. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison.

Although Saunders tested positive in May 1996, he denied that fact when his girlfriend asked him about it repeatedly, and he continued to have unprotected sex with her, prosecutors said.

Saunders's girlfriend discovered in November 1998 that she, too, is HIV-positive. As late as April, Saunders denied that he was HIV-positive, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gorman said. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 24.

U.S. Won't Challenge Hinckley Ruling

Federal prosecutors have decided against challenging a court decision that clears the way for presidential assailant John W. Hinckley Jr. to leave the grounds of St. Elizabeths Hospital for occasional supervised outings.

Officials with the U.S. attorney's office said they will not ask the Supreme Court to review a recent ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that gave hospital officials the right to decide whether Hinckley can take day trips supervised by staff. Prosecutors had argued unsuccessfully that such trips should be arranged only with a court's approval.

Hinckley has been confined at the Southeast Washington facility since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the March 1981 shootings of President Ronald Reagan and three others. Doctors have said that his narcissistic personality disorder and depression are in remission.

"I have no doubt John Hinckley will do perfectly on these excursions," said his attorney, Barry Wm. Levine, describing the day trips as part of a long-term transition that could lead to Hinckley's release from the hospital.

Hinckley has left hospital grounds only once, for a supervised visit with his parents in December 1986.

Two D.C. Inmates Escape in Virginia

Two District inmates serving time for murder escaped from a transport van in rural Virginia, prompting authorities to launch an intensive manhunt that eventually recaptured them.

Daniel Kinard and Reginald Yelverton were shackled in the back of a van early Saturday when the two guards transporting them from the Red Onion maximum-security prison in Virginia to a Corrections Corp. of America-run prison in Tennessee stopped at a restaurant for breakfast, D.C. Corrections Director Odie Washington said yesterday. When the guards left the van, the inmates broke free from the shackles and escaped.

Kinard was caught about 45 minutes later. Yelverton allegedly stole a nearby vehicle and fled. He was caught about eight hours later. Both men were returned to Red Onion.

MARYLAND

Rockville Man Charged With Strangling Wife

A 60-year-old Rockville man was charged with murder yesterday after his wife was strangled in their Rockville town house during a domestic dispute, police said.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service workers found the body of Pamela Mason Porter, 56, of the 11400 block of Cedar Ridge Road, about 10:49 a.m., police spokesman Derek Baliles said. David Robert Porter later was ordered held without bond.

Baliles said Porter's husband had called Fire and Rescue to seek assistance for "the victim of an assault." It was apparent from the condition of the apartment that there had been a disturbance there, Baliles said.

Prisoner Dies in Montgomery Jail

A 23-year-old Rockville man was found dead in a Montgomery County jail cell Monday, apparently a suicide, officials said.

Charles Davis, who had been arrested Friday night on charges of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and making false statements to a police officer, was jailed Saturday, according to Eric Seleznow, spokesman for the Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation.

Seleznow said Davis had a bond hearing earlier Monday but had not been able to post bond.