Man killed girlfriend’s eight-year-old son ‘because he thought he was gay’

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A man who is accused of torturing his girlfriend’s eight-year-old son to death killed him because he thought the child was gay, a court has heard.

The prosecutor said that Isauro Aguirre made Gabriel Fernandez wear stereotypically female clothes to school before murdering him with torture methods.

Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedic James Cermak testified that there was “an unbelievable amount of trauma” on Gabriel’s body.

He found the child in cardiac arrest.

Isauro Aguirre (KTLA)
Isauro Aguirre (KTLA)

He was responding to a 911 call from the home which Aguirre, 32, shared with Gabriel’s mother Pearl Fernandez.

She will also face trial.

Prosecutor Jon Hatami said the couple beat the eight-year-old victim.

They also burned him with cigarettes, whipped him and shot him with a BB gun, he said.

In further torture, Hatami said they starved Gabriel, fed him cat litter and kept him trapped in a cubby hole.

He had a sock stuffed in his mouth, his hands bound and a bandana tied around his face, Hatami added.

gabriel fernandez ktla
Gabriel Fernandez (KTLA)

Aguirre and Fernandez eventually called first responders to treat Gabriel.

The prosecutor said this was a tactic designed to cover their tracks, according to KTLA.

“They didn’t call 911 to help Gabriel,” Hatami said.

“They called 911 to cover up what they did.

“The defendant lied on the 911 call.”

Isauro Aguirre (KTLA)
Isauro Aguirre (KTLA)

The child was rushed to hospital, but died two days later.

Hatami said that “Gabriel’s last vision was that man over there standing over Gabriel, beating him to death.”

The prosecutor said Aguirre was 6’2″ and 270 pounds when Gabriel died.

The eight-year-old boy was 4’1″ and 59 pounds, he added.

“The evidence will show that the defendant is nothing more than a bully,” Hatami told the court.

(Flickr/bloomsberries) gavel

“He was a security guard who intentionally tortured and abused a helpless and innocent little boy.”

The jury was shown texts sent between Aguirre and Gabriel’s mother.

Hatami said these showed that the pair conspired to torture and kill Gabriel.

They then messaged each other to cover up their actions, he added.


Defense attorney John Allan said Aguirre was “guilty of murder”.

However, he added that “the special circumstance alleged, that he intended kill Gabriel with the infliction of torture, is not true.”

He continued: “Despite the horrific abuse, Isauro never intended for Gabriel to die.”

(Flickr/Brian Turner)
(Flickr/Brian Turner)

Allan said Aguirre admitted to causing injuries to Gabriel.

But he said this was only after the child told his mother to leave her boyfriend, causing Aguirre to explode in rage.

Four Los Angeles County social workers who were assigned to Gabriel’s case also face charges in connection with the death.