Charges of attempted murder against a man who sold his AIDS-tainted blood were dismissed today by a judge who said prosecutors failed to show that the defendant intended to kill, as required by law.
Joseph Markowski stared straight ahead blankly as the ruling was announced by Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen. His defense attorney, Guy O'Brien, said he believed that Markowski did not understand the judge's ruling and asked that his client be transferred to a psychiatric facility.
Markowski, identified by authorities as a male prostitute working mostly in the Hollywood area, has tested positive for the presence of the deadly AIDS virus but he has not manifested symptoms of the disease itself.
However, the judge ruled that sufficient evidence exists to try Markowski on two lesser counts of attempted poisoning, which carry a possible maximum sentence of three years. Coen set trial on the poisoning charges for Jan. 6.