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Flora, MS--From Wife gets house arrest in HIV case: Flora woman didn't tell husband she carried virus (Clarion-Ledger, 10/7/08):
Shala Singleton Howell was sentenced in Madison County Circuit Court on Friday to 10 years in prison with nine suspended after pleading guilty to knowingly exposing her husband to the deadly virus which causes AIDS. Prosecutors said Howell, 28, knew she carried HIV since 1997, but never told her husband, Shannon Howell of Flora, whom she married in 2003. Shannon Howell, 36, and the couple's 5-year-old son have tested negative for the virus... Most states have laws prohibiting willfully exposing someone to HIV, which is passed on most commonly through unprotected sexual activity, injected drug use or from mother to child during birth or breastfeeding. Guest said the nine years of suspended jail time was something both sides agreed upon. Ten years is the maximum prison sentence. Shannon and Shala Howell are getting a divorce and are in a custody battle over their son. "This has been tough on my whole family. We treated Shala like she was family, now everyone feels betrayed," Shannon Howell said Monday. "She has yet to show any remorse or apologize for what she has put us through"... In August 2007, Shannon Howell took his wife to the doctor, who informed him she had HIV. He confronted Shala Howell, and she admitted she had known for several years, and that's when he contacted authorities, Guest said. In November 2007, Shannon Howell filed a petition asking for the couple's marriage to be annulled, court records show. He is citing fraud as grounds for an annulment and "habitual cruel and inhumane treatment" as alternate grounds for a divorce. He also is seeking permanent custody of their son and has asked for a temporary restraining order against his wife. Shala Howell has filed a counter claim for divorce, denying her husband's accusations and alleging she was the one who suffered "habitual cruel and inhumane treatment"...

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