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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 31 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 44
Couple who killed 'Gay' child avoid death penalty
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Couple who killed 'Gay' child avoid death penalty

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Pearl Fernandez and her former boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, will take a plea deal to avoid the death penalty for the murder and torture of her son, eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez in May 2013. The boy was allegedly killed because the couple thought he was Gay.

According to court papers, the Southern California couple will be sentenced to life in prison without parole for pleading guilty to first-degree murder and torture with special circumstances in the death of Gabriel Fernandez. They both waived their right for an appeal and will remain in prison for the rest of their lives.

The fact that these two incredibly horrible people were even offered a plea deal has many people upset, particularly because the facts of the case show that the young boy suffered months of painful beatings and psychological abuse.

On May 22, 2013, Gabriel Fernandez was found barely breathing in his mother's home in Palmdale, CA (north of Los Angeles) and died two days later. Paramedics found the boy naked in his bedroom, with a cracked skull and broken ribs. Gabriel also showed signs of having been restrained and shot with a BB gun in the groin and other forms of torture. The abuse lasted over the course of eight months said authorities.

The couple called the boy 'Gay' and beat him with belts and baseball bats when he got caught playing with dolls. They also forced him to eat cat feces and his own vomit, doused him in pepper spray and locked him inside a cabinet with a sock stuffed in his mouth, not even letting him out to use the bathroom.

Gabriel Fernandez's teeth were knocked out because of the beatings.

Gabriel's mother and Aguirre were arrested in connection to his death the day after he was discovered. They were charged with capital murder on May 28, 2013.

Several social workers responded to several reports of abuse from Gabriel Fernandez's teachers and grandfather but they determined he was not at risk - even after social workers found a suicide note the boy wrote. They concluded he did not have a specific plan to kill himself. Four social workers were cleared in connection with the case.

The boy's maternal grandfather, who took care of Gabriel Fernandez most of his life, has filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against the county and the Department of Children & Families.

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