LOS ANGELES — A jury today recommended the death penalty for a Palmdale man convicted of fatally beating and torturing his girlfriend’s 8-year-old son because he thought the boy was gay.
TORTURED, MURDERED BOY
Last month, Isauro Aguirre, 37, was found guilty of first-degree murder with a special allegation that the murder was committed with the infliction of torture.
Prosecutors told jurors in closing arguments that the 6-foot-2, 270-pound Aguirre enjoyed torturing the small boy and brutalized him in 2013 because he thought Fernandez was gay.
In the months leading to Fernandez’s May 2013 death, Aguirre forced him to eat cat litter and feces and locked him bound and gagged in a small cabinet overnight, according to court testimony.
TAKEN OFF LIFE SUPPORT
When paramedics arrived at the home of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, he was unconscious with a cracked skull, had three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin. Fernandez was declared dead and removed from life support two days later.
Jurors deliberated about three days before reaching their decision for capital punishment.
Aguirre will return to the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles March 8 for sentencing from Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli.
MOTHER ACCUSED OF TORTURE, MURDER
The boy’s mother, Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, 34, also is accused of participating in the torture and killing of her son. She faces one count of murder with the special circumstance allegation of intentional murder by torture and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on January 16.