The District man who authorities said stabbed his ex-girlfriend to death last year and then scribbled “You gave me HIV. You gave me AIDS” on a wall in her apartment was found guilty of her murder Tuesday.
After more than a day and a half of deliberations, a D.C. Superior Court jury found Keith Littlepage, 51, guilty of first-degree premeditated murder and other offenses in the March 4, 2011, slaying of Selina Knight.
Knight, 36, was HIV positive as a result of a prior relationship, her mother had testified, but defense attorneys said that Littlepage did not have the illness.
Prosecutors said that Littlepage killed Knight because she ended their romantic relationship and kicked him out of her Southeast Washington apartment a day before she was killed because he was abusive. They had no DNA linking Littlepage to the crime, no eyewitnesses and no weapon and instead relied on the testimony of friends and relatives of Knight and Littlepage, among them several who said that Littlepage said he would kill Knight if she left him.
Defense attorneys argued that Littlepage was not involved in Knight’s death. Littlepage, they said, had known of Knight’s disease for 10 years and stayed with her to care for her.
During a week-long trial, prosecutors said it was unclear why Littlepage scribbled the writings on the wall — perhaps to try to shift the suspicion, they said, or maybe because he believed he was HIV positive when he killed her.
In tears after the hearing, Knight’s mother Anna Mays said she was “relieved and thankful” for the verdict. Mays said she had worried that some jurors might have been critical of her daughter of her illness, thinking her less of a victim.
“There is still such a stigma out there against people who have the disease,” Mays said.
Littlepage is scheduled to be sentenced in September by Judge Thomas J. Motley.