DALLAS — Cicely Bolden was stabbed to death inside her South Dallas apartment early this month.
Suspect Larry Dunn said she revealed she was HIV positive after they had sex. "I killed her because she killed me," he told detectives.
On Monday night, Bolden's family heard words of comfort during a vigil in her honor.
For so many days, the words have hurt.
"To the people who have made negative comments: I am praying for you," said Jeff Busby, the father of Bolden's children.
Busby said its been a struggle to see comments like, "I would have done the same thing," or, "sounds like he was justified" on Twitter; or to hear on YouTube, "This woman brought this on herself," and "I don't blame the dude for going off the way he did."
While he doesn't condone Bolden's actions, Busby said, "This is still a life... a mother. She didn't deserve to lose her life."
He said Bolden contracted HIV after giving birth to a son and daughter seven and eight years ago.
Those children came home from school and found their mother stabbed to death.
Busby is now caring for both children, and said they are staying strong.
"When she contracted the disease, she prepared them that mommy was going to go away," he explained. "They are comforting the adults."
Larry Dunn, 36, allegedly told police he murdered Bolden because she revealed she was HIV positive after they had had sex. But Busby said Dunn continued a sexual relationship with Bolden even after learning about her diagnosis.
Monday night's vigil brought together Bolden's friends and family, as well as activists from the HIV-AIDS awareness community.
Several people pledged to use Bolden's life and untimely death as a tool to educate. They said it was a tragedy that HIV didn't kill Cicely — ignorance did.
Dallas County Health Director Zach Thompson gave a passionate speech, telling the crowd that Cicely Bolden's death was "an attack on a woman, and an attack on her children."
"This is unacceptable in any community," he added.