Isiah Benford sentenced in HIV case

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – It’s a complex case News 10 has been on top of for more than two years. Now, we know the fate of a Vigo County man accused of intentionally spreading HIV for more than a decade.

On Tuesday afternoon Judge Michael Lewis accepted a plea agreement in the case of Isiah Bedford.

Benford recently pleaded guilty to several charges in connection to two different cases. Those include one count of robbery in an April 2014 case. The agreement also contains six counts of battery by bodily waste in the HIV case. Benford originally faced 27 criminal counts for infecting several partners.

The total, combined sentence of 30 years called for a six-year sentence for the robbery and a 24-year sentence in the case that alleges he failed to warn others of his HIV status.

Benford was sentenced to 20 years in the Indiana Department of Correction, while the remaining 10 years can be served on formal probation.

A victim, known as T.F., addressed the court and Benford in a tearful impact statement. She described Benford as kind, caring, and charismatic. “But I didn’t know he had skeletons in his closet,” T.F. told the court.

T.F. described that day, in April 2011, when she was diagnosed with HIV. “You watched me grow ill. You are a cold hearted monster.”

T.F went on to say, she did not agree with the plea agreement but accepted the terms on behalf of the many victims who wish to remain anonymous. “I have to be the voice who stops this,” she told the court.

If Benford completes the Purposeful Incarceration program, he could petition the court for a sentence modification. Benford will also receive credit for time served while awaiting trial.