It was a case that provoked horror and rage among so many – the brutal torture and death of an 8-year-old boy at the hands of his mother.
When his mom was brought to justice, grim details were revealed of the abhorrent treatment of this sweet child by someone who was supposed to love and protect him.
His death was even the subject of a Netflix documentary “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez” released in 2020, 7 years after one of the most horrific child abuse cases in U.S. history.
His mother Pearl Fernandez was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in 2018 after pleading guilty to first-degree murder and admitting the torture allegation.
Gabriel died on May 24, 2013 after months of torture and abuse at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre.
The evil two starved Gabriel, fed him cat litter, shot him with a B.B. gun, and burned him with cigarettes all over his body. They even bound and gagged him in a cubby and made him sleep in there.
Aguirre was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to the death penalty, according to NBC News. He is currently on death row at the San Quentin state prison in California.
Pearl Sinthia Fernandez’s defense team argued her IQ was too low to sentence her to death, as per Women’s Health.
Now the 37-year-old woman has filed a petition to have her murder conviction vacated and be resentenced.
Her hearing is set for June 1 before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli.
She argues in her petition for re-sentencing that she could not now be convicted of first-degree or second-degree murder because of changes made to the state penal code in 2019, as per NBC 4 and FOX 11 News.
Fernandez called 911 on May 22, 2013, to report that Gabriel wasn’t breathing. She told police that her son had fallen and hit his head on a dresser at their home in Palmdale, California.
He was declared brain-dead that day and taken off life support two days later. An autopsy showed that the boy had a fractured skull, several broken ribs, missing teeth, burns over much of his body, and BB pellets embedded in his groin.
A paramedic would later testify that every inch of the boy’s small body had been abused, as per the LA Times.
Gabriel was placed with his mother and boyfriend despite concerns from family members. The young boy was reportedly abused because they believed he was gay; his siblings were not abused.
His teacher testified that she called Los Angeles County social workers multiple times to report that Gabriel told her that his mother punched him and shot him in the face with a BB gun.
Four social workers were initially charged for failing to protect the boy, but those charges were dropped in July 2020.
The details of this case are truly the most horrific acts of abuse I’ve ever read against a child; the suffering that boy went through chills me to the core and breaks my heart. Even when Gabriel bravely asked for help and his teacher asked for help, nothing was done.
It angers me that the family now have to relive that horror with another hearing; this woman should not be allowed to put those that loved Gabriel through this again and should accept that she must pay for what she did.
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