Man sentenced to 60 years for 1986 Wallingford murder - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Man sentenced to 60 years for 1986 Wallingford murder

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Kevin Benefield, 47, was sentenced to 60 years in prison Kevin Benefield, 47, was sentenced to 60 years in prison
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB/AP) -

A former New York City man was sentenced to 60 years in prison for a 1986 killing in which another man was convicted and served 20 years in prison before he was exonerated and freed.

Kevin Benefield, 47, was sentenced Friday in New Haven Superior Court for the beating death of Barbara Pelkey, a 30-year-old mother of four who police said was also sexually assaulted.

The former Bronx resident was convicted in January of murder and felony murder, which both carry 25 to 60 years in prison.

Another man, Kenneth Ireland, was convicted of killing Pelkey and served two decades behind bars before being released in August 2009 based on new DNA testing.

Benefield worked near Pelkey and lied to police during the investigation. Benefield actually talked to Channel 3 Eyewitness News right after the murder.

Pelkey's nude body was found at a manufacturing company where she worked in Wallingford.

On Friday Ireland's attorney Bill Bloss was at the sentencing.

"The victim here was Barbara Pelkey but everyone agrees what happened to Ken Ireland was just unimaginable ," he said.

All four of Pelkey's children talked at Benefield's sentencing  including the youngest daughter who broke down several times.  She was 9-year-old at the time and remembers her father holding her hand, touching the casket, afraid of what was inside. 

The children also lost their father years later after he committed suicide. 

 The judge told Benefield the list of people he hurt is endless. 

Bloss said Ireland chose not to attend the sentencing because " he really doesn't see this about him.  This is about Mrs. Pelkey and he just wants to get on with his life."

Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.