By Joan Murray

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) –The Florida Parole Commission has granted a conditional release to a 27-year old woman who is dying of cancer at a South Florida hospital.

Several lawmakers joined Betsie Gallardo’s relatives in Tallahassee Wednesday morning to plead for her release so that she can spend her remaining days with her family.

“I’m not asking for forgiveness, I’m asking for compassion. No matter how you rule, shy of a miracle my daughter has a few weeks to live,” said Gallardo’s adoptive mother Jessica Bussert.

In their ruling the commission granted Gallardo’s release but only if she returned to live with her adoptive family in Indiana under house arrest. They also said she could be released to a hospice in Miami while Indiana officials consider whether they will allow her to return.

“I look forward to seeing movies, eating candy and waiting for that shackle to come off her ankle for the last time,” said Bussert.

Gallardo, who was born in the U.S. HIV positive, grew up in Haiti after her father abandoned her, her sister and mother there. When their mother died, the two sisters were forced to live on the streets.

“Betsie’s first ten years were full of abuse, physical, sexual, starvation. She grew up in the poorest slum this side of the planet,” said Bussert.

In 2008, she was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of assault on a law enforcement officer in Naples. Bussert said her daughter bit an officer while she was being arrested on a child neglect charge after leaving her boyfriend’s child home alone for more than 30 minutes. The charge was later dropped. Bussert said because Betsie was HIV positive, the sentence was harsh.

Four months into her sentence Gallardo was diagnosed with gall bladder cancer. It has since spread to her liver, lungs and ovaries and doctors say her condition is terminal.

“I’m not saying she did no wrong, but what she did, didn’t deserve dying in prison,” said Bussert.

Last week Gallardo, who was serving her prison term at the Broward Correctional Facility, was transferred to Kendall Regional Medical Center. Her family says she only has weeks to live.

Comments (8)
  1. Ed Cosentino says:

    Release her please.

  2. David Clark says:

    She KNEW she was HIV+, she knew spitting on the Cop could infect him, and at best cause him great harm, and in the extreme his life.

    Lots of children are abused, some worse then her but manage to stay off drugs and act civilized.

    Nope, if she were going to pay for her own treatment I might relent, but the taxpayer will pay no matter what happens, so I see no reason to release her

    1. the_prince says:

      That’s pretty harsh……hope you are never in need of some mercy shown toward you. She was also on ativan for anxiety so we are not talking about a clear headed, emotionally stable indivudual that had it all together who just got up one day and just out of the clear blue sky bit an officer. It was a cop….had she bit you, it would not have been a matter of importance. Let her go to her family. I

    2. Yanely says:

      she spit on the cop…anyone that knows anything about how HIV is transmitted would know that it takes about a gallon of saliva to infect someone…thats why you cannot become infected while kissing unless both parties have an open sore..anyways its obvious the courts are just as ignorant as you are on the subject. I dont think she should have been sentenced at all if she just spit on him and 5 years is pretty harsh, child molesters often get off with a few years probation.

  3. philip mooney says:

    just let her go, you idiots

  4. Victoria says:

    Have you no compassion? She is a 27 year old woman who is dying! 27! she had a crappy beginning and a sad ending. I for one am glad they are letting her go home so she can go surrounded by people who love her. Also, FYI, unless you have an actively bleeding sore in your mouth, you need gallons of spit to be able to transmit HIV to someone else. Im not saying spitting on someone is right, it’s just that the chances of her transmitting HIV in that manner are slim to none.

  5. zaidita says:

    i agree with Prince,c’mon none of us are perfect, we need to forgive one another

  6. dWIGHT P says:


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From CBS Miami

What Are People Talking About?
Weather Forecast 24/7Check for current temps and what to expect throughout the day

Watch & Listen LIVE