HIV positive woman gets 3 years for spitting

ariquelmy@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 22, 2008 

Spitting on someone usually doesn't warrant a charge of aggravated assault.

Saying you're HIV positive while spitting on someone will get you three years in prison.

Audrey D. Lewis, 43, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated assault and was sentenced by Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters. Her three-year sentence must be served in full because she has three prior felonies, said Assistant District Attorney Doug Breault.

"She is not going to be eligible for parole," the prosecutor added.

The assault happened Oct. 3 at an apartment complex at 3909 Baker Plaza Drive. A 24-year-old woman had been asked to lock the door of a friend's apartment who was being arrested for simple battery against Lewis.

The woman and Lewis began to argue when Lewis approached her about the door being locked, Breault said. At some point, Lewis spit in her face.

" 'I hope you get AIDS . . . ' " police said Lewis told the woman.

Lewis knew she was diagnosed with HIV at the time, police added.

Breault had recommended Lewis get five years in prison, followed by five years' probation. His initial offer, though, was 90 days in jail with five years of probation.

"I didn't think it was warranted," said defense attorney Jennifer Dunlap of the three-year sentence. "I was hoping (Peters would) do something closer to the 90 days."

Breault said the first offer was made before the victim was contacted. Because she was adamant that the sentence be higher, he changed his recommendation.

"I think it's fair," Breault said of Monday's sentence."

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