Mother gets life, boyfriend death for torturing, killing 8-year-old whom they thought was gay
The 34-year-old woman pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in February and admitted that it was an intentional murder by torture.
A woman and her boyfriend from California were sentenced to a life term in prison for continuous torture of the woman's 8-year-old son, whom they suspected was gay, according to reports. The child suffered multiple injuries and his body was covered with abuse markers and he eventually succumbed five years ago.
Judge George G. Lomeli, in a rare exhortation during the court hearing on Thursday, told the couple – Isauro Aguirre and Pearl Fernandez — that he hoped they would think about the pain they caused the 8-year-old in their life in prison.
"I hope you think about the pain you caused this child and that it tortures you," the judge said, while called the violence Gabriel Fernandez suffered as "horrendous, inhumane and nothing short of evil," according to the Los Angeles Times.
The 34-year-old woman pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in February and admitted that it was an intentional murder by torture. The woman was sentenced to life in prison without parole after the hearing.
While the woman's boyfriend was given a death sentence.
The 37-year-old boyfriend was convicted in November of first-degree murder, with the jury confirming the special allegation against him of intentional murder by torture, reports state.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, in a statement, after the sentencing said: "This case showed how evil can not only inflict lasting damage to those who loved Gabriel but our society as well. The horrific nature of Gabriel’s abuse and murder has been seared into our minds and the defendants will now spend the rest of their lives in prison for their reprehensible actions."
Reports state that the evidence and testimony presented during the hearing in court left the jurors stunned as they sobbed and gasped at the information they heard.
LA County prosecutors said that the couple conspired "together to deceive everyone in order to torture [him] to death" after the child moved to live with them in 2010.
The prosecutors said that "Gabriel was frequently beaten by Aguirre because he believed the boy was gay."
The 8-year-old's older brother also testified during the hearing and said that Gabriel was forced to eat cat feces and cat litter and "slept bound and gagged inside a small cabinet.”
Police was alerted to Gabriel's situation on May 22, 2013, when he was found naked, with a cracked skull, shattered ribs, severe burns and BB pellets buried in his body, reports state.
Two days after he was found, Gabriel was declared brain-dead and was taken off life support.
Paramedic James Cermak also came to the stand in the court and said: "It was just like every inch of this child had been abused."
The child's brother said that the mother and her boyfriend struck Gabriel with multiple weapons which included a small bat, a club, a belt buckle and a metal hanger.
The brother added that hours after Gabriel was found unresponsive, his mother ad the boyfriend had brutally beaten him for not cleaning up his toys, according to the Times.
"And that’s when it all stopped," his brother said. "It just went quiet."