Joke About Having AIDS, Get Shot

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on November 30, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Would you shoot a sexual partner who claimed to have given you AIDS? Lloyd Wilkins did, and now he's facing at least five years in prison.

After a night of drinking, Wilkins and his female victim returned to his home where they engaged in sexual intercourse. She then told him that she was infected with the AIDS virus.

In response, Wilkins grabbed a shotgun from his closet and shot her in the head. He had no idea that the AIDS confession was a complete joke.

Lloyd Wilkins pled guilty on Monday to aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence and possession of an unregistered firearm, according to the U.S. Justice Department. The woman recovered, so murder charges weren't on the table.

But why didn't the plea deal instead include attempted murder? Death was his intention, right?

For one, if Wilkins had been charged, it would have most likely been with attempted voluntary manslaughter, which is a lesser crime than attempted murder. Persons accused of voluntary manslaughter are said to have been adequately provoked by their victim.

Despite the presence of such provocation (AIDS is a serious disease), voluntary manslaughter charges might have been a tough fight. The Justice Department writes that "the weapon went off." So Wilkins may have meant to threaten her, not actually shoot or kill her.

This would have downgraded the crime to aggravated assault because there is no such thing as attempted involuntary manslaughter. Aggravated assault probably would have been the most attainable verdict if the case had gone to trial. Prosecutors knew this, so they offered Lloyd Wilkins a deal.

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