Who was Michael Hernandez? Florida middle school killer, 31, who stabbed friend 40 times in 2004 dies in jail
COLUMBIA, FLORIDA: Michael Hernandez, who was convicted for the brutal murder of his friend Jaime Gough back in 2004, died at the Columbia Correctional Institute, where he was incarcerated. Hernandez was 31 at the time of his death.
Information regarding the cause of death has not been released. As per reports by WFOR-TV, video footage captured inside the prison shows Hernandez collapsing -- no foul play has been suspected. Hernandez was serving a life sentence.
Who was Michael Hernandez?
Michael Hernandez was a convicted criminal who, in 2004, stabbed and killed his friend, Jamie Gough. Hernandez and Gough were 14 at the time of the crime. They were both attending Southwood Middle in Palmetto Bay.
In February 2004, Hernandez planned to kill two of his friends, Andre Martin and Gough. He tried to lure them both into a bathroom stall, however, Martin didn't comply. The three of them went to class. Hernandez lured Gough into a handicapped stall, with the pretext of showing him something. He then pulled out a knife and stabbed Gough 40 times and slit his throat. He hid the knife in a secret compartment in his backpack and then headed to class.
Gough's body was later found and a teacher noticed blood on Hernandez and informed police about the same. During his trial, it came to light that Hernandez had been fascinated by serial killers such as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer and began studying about them. The trial testimony brought to light that Hernandez had a journal that listed people he wanted to kill, including his sister. As per the information obtained, he felt was on a mission to 'cleanse the planet,' as reported by NBC Miami.
His case was revisited in 2016, in light of a new ruling
Although he made an insanity plea, Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree and sentenced to life to 2008. There was a new hearing again in 2016, after the 2012 US Supreme Court ruling that juveniles could not automatically be sentenced to life without chance of parole. However, after the second hearing, a Miami-Dade County judge sent Hernandez back to prison for life. “He was an evil evil person who showed no remorse,” said retired Miami-Dade prosecutor Gail Levine, as reported by Miami Herald. “Finally, justice was completed," she added. Levine was a part of Hernandez’s sentencing hearing in 2016.
Jamie Gough's parents addressed the news of Hernandez's death
Gough's father, Jorge Gough, spoke to the Miami Herald about the news of Hernandez's death. “I was not expecting this at all,” Gough said, seeing that he was "shocked" upon hearing the news. He added that his wife and he talk about their son, but "not in a sad way."
"We miss him, and the big question is: What would he be today?" he explained. Gough was a straight-A student who played the violin. He would've been 31 years old. Martin, who Hernandez previously also tried to lure, is now Miami-Dade County police detective, had mixed feelings about Hernandez's death. “My continued condolences for Jaime Gough’s parents, and the entire Gough family,” Martin said. “And the Hernandez family — they were not the ones who committed a crime and they did lose a family member," he added.
The Miami Herald also reported that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and corrections’ Office of the Inspector General are to investigate Hernandez’s death. Upon completion, the results of the autopsy will be released by the Medical Examiner’s Office." Due to the open and active investigation, we are unable to provide any additional information," was the information provided via a statement.