A California jury has begun hearing the case in the murder trial of an 8-year-old boy, who was allegedly beaten and tortured to death by his mother and her boyfriend, as reported by Los Angeles Daily News.
Isauro Aguirre, 37, is on trial for the 2013 torture and murder of Gabriel Fernandez. Mother Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, 34, will be tried separately at a later date.
The Los Angeles Fire Department was reportedly called to the family’s home May 22, 2013, where they found the 8-year-old boy to be unconscious and not breathing. He was rushed to the hospital and declared brain dead that day, though he wasn’t officially pronounced dead until he was pulled from life support two days later.
Police say the little boy suffered from a host of injuries, including a fractured skull, several broken ribs, and burns all over his body. Fernandez’s first-grade teacher told authorities that they saw his mother beating him with the metal part of a belt, according to court records.
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A forensic nurse testified during a grand jury hearing and said the wounds the boy suffered were “not normal of a little 8-year-old boy.”
“This was essentially the beginning of the eight months of torture and abuse of Gabriel Fernandez by Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre in Palmdale,” the prosecutor in the grand jury hearing wrote, noting that the victim was “withheld from school by the defendants for the last three weeks before he was murdered.”
Notes written by the 8-year-old have been placed into evidence, including several where he wrote that he wanted to take his own life. A teacher also reportedly saw bruises and BB gun pellet injuries on his face.
“Gabriel didn’t receive any support in our eyes when he was alive and after death he should,” said Amanda Nevarez, of the support group Gabriel’s Justice, as reported by NBC Los Angeles.
Aguirre and Fernandez were indicted in July 2014 on a murder charge but police say they aren’t the two people who contributed to the death of an innocent boy. Two former social workers have also been indicted on charges of child abuse and falsifying public records, after they allegedly doctored documents in order to allow the abuse to continue.
The trial is expected to last six to eight weeks. Aguirre and Fernandez face the death penalty.
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