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Gabriel Fernandez case: Mother pleads guilty to murder

LOS ANGELES — Nearly five years after 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez was murdered because his mother’s boyfriend thought Gabriel was gay, the boy’s mother pleaded guilty Thursday to first degree murder, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.

ALSO READ: Palmdale man convicted of murdering boy he thought was gay

Nearly five years after 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez was murdered because his mother’s boyfriend thought Gabriel was gay, the boy’s mother pleaded guilty Thursday to first degree murder, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. Photo: Family photo.

Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, 34, of Palmdale, faces life in state prison following her guilty plea to the murder count and admission to the special circumstance allegation of intentional murder by torture. She is scheduled to be sentenced June 7 at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Fernandez’s boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, 37, of Palmdale, had already been found guilty of first-degree murder and the special circumstance allegation of intentional murder by torture in November.

ALSO READ: Man who murdered Gabriel Fernandez recommended for death penalty

In November, prosecutors told jurors that Fernandez and Aguirre, severely and systematically abused Gabriel for months leading up to the boy’s death on May 22, 2013.

TORTURED GABRIEL

During closing arguments of Aguirre’s case in November, prosecutors detailed how the 6-foot-2, 270-pound Aguirre tortured the small boy, forcing Gabriel to eat cat litter and feces. They also said Aguirre locked the boy, bound and gagged, in a small cabinet overnight.

HORRIFIC ABUSE

When paramedics arrived at the Palmdale home, Gabriel was unconscious with a cracked skull, three broken ribs, and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin. Fernandez was declared dead and removed from life support two days later

In December, jurors recommended the death penalty for Aguirre, who is scheduled to be sentenced March 8.

About the author

Beatriz E. Valenzuela

Beatriz E. Valenzuela is an award-winning journalist who’s covered breaking news in Southern California since 2006 and has been on the front lines of national and international news events. She also covers all things nerd, including comic book culture and video games. She’s an amateur obstacle course racer, constant fact-checker, mother of three, and lover of all things geek.

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