Gabriel Fernandez’s mother gets life, boyfriend sentenced to death

Isauro Aguirre left and Pearl Fernandez right flanked by attorneys are shown at a sentencing hearing

Isauro Aguirre left and Pearl Fernandez right flanked by attorneys are shown at a sentencing hearing

Pearl pleaded guilty to murder back in February and a jury found Isauro guilty of murder previous year. "It goes without saying that the conduct was horrendous and inhumane and nothing short of evil", he continued.

A California mother was sentenced Thursday to life without the possibility of parole for the torturous killing of her 8-year-old son, who she believed was gay. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli told the couple that he hopes they wake up in the middle of the night and think of the injuries they inflicted on 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez of Palmdale. In LA County, which has had serious problems with their Department of Children and Family Services, supervisors appointed a child protection czar, initiated a number of child welfare reforms and the DA brought criminal charges against County social workers who visited the home repeatedly and knew of at least six reports of abuse yet failed to removed Gabriel from a clearly risky home situation. He was declared brain dead and died two days later. "The boy slept in a small cabinet, the prosecutor said, with his ankles handcuffed, his hands bound and his mouth gagged with a sock", The Times reported.

Jurors last December recommended Aguirre be sentenced to death after convicting him of first-degree murder and torture.

Pearl's life imprisonment without chance of parole followed the mother pleading guilty February 15 to first-degree murder and admitting torture of her son, She had been facing a possible death sentence if the case against her had gone to trial and found guilty.

In more than 800 pages of sworn grand jury testimony made public in August 2014, the extent of Gabriel's tortured life was revealed, including the suspicion that he was abused because Aguirre thought the child was gay. She had been facing a possible death sentence if the case against her had gone to trial and if she had been convicted as charged. "I wish I could have saved Gabriel", Fernandez said.

"This case showed how evil cannot only inflict lasting damage to those who loved Gabriel but our society as well", Lacey said.

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Gabriel Fenandez was routinely beaten, starved, forced to sleep in a closet and tortured until his death in 2013.

During the boyfriend's guilty verdict, prosecutors said Aguire was an "evil" man who 'liked torturing' the boy and did so systematically in the months, leading up to the child's death. "I'm sorry to my children, and I want them to know that I love them", she said.

Speaking in court, the boy's teacher Jennifer Garcia said she found comfort in believing he was "at peace". "I'm a church-going person so I don't have hate against anybody, but I do hate the crime that she committed", the boy's cousin said.

"For eight straight months, he was abused, beaten and tortured more severely than many prisoners of war", Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami told the grand jury. "They are evil people", the Garcia said, referring to Fernandez and Aguirre.

Prosecutors have since filed charges of child abuse and falsifying records against county social workers Stephanie Rodriguez and Patricia Clement and supervisors Kevin Bom and Gregory Merrittfour in Gabriel's death.

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