Plea made in rape case

Hunt County – An HIV-positive man has pleaded guilty to raping another man. Previously, the man was sentenced to 97 years in prison for the charge, but that sentence was thrown out on appeal. Now the man could be released from prison in a little more than four years.

Earl Edward Mathonican was found guilty of using HIV as a deadly weapon in connection with an incident in Wolfe City in 2003. Last year, an appeals court overturned the decision, however. A retrial had been scheduled, but a plea deal was reached yesterday and the man was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Under the agreement, Mathonican waived any rights to an appeal and has to serve at least half his sentence before being eligible for parole, but is being credited with three years for time served.