Death penalty, life sentence for couple who killed boy ‘because they thought he was gay’
A Californian mother has been given a life sentence and her boyfriend the death penalty for killing the woman’s eight-year-old son, who they believed was gay.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court heard how Gabriel Fernandez, from Palmdale, was repeatedly beaten, starved, tied up, locked in a cabinet, shot with a BB gun and had his teeth knocked out with a bat.
The boy also had burns on his body, broken ribs and a fractured skull.
The boy’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, 34, pleaded guilty to murder in February in the death of her son.
Her boyfriend, 37-year-old Isauro Aguirre, was found guilty of murder last year after the court found he intentionally tortured the child.
Judge George Lomeli told the couple he hoped what they had done “tortured” them at night.
“It goes without saying that the conduct was horrendous and inhumane and nothing short of evil.
“It’s beyond animalistic because animals know how to take care of their young.”
In 2013, Fernandez called the emergency services to report her son wasn’t breathing and said he had fallen and hit his head on a dresser.
He died two days later of blunt-force trauma and neglect, a coroner’s report said.
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