Gabriel Fernandez case: Mother, boyfriend sentenced for torturing, murdering boy

Gabriel Fernandez Case

The mother of Gabriel Fernandez and her boyfriend were sentenced today for torturing and murdering her 8-year-old son in 2013 because they thought he was gay. Photo: Family Photo.

LOS ANGELES — The mother of Gabriel Fernandez and her boyfriend were sentenced today for torturing and murdering her 8-year-old son in 2013 because they thought he was gay.

Pearl Sinthia Fernandez was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, while Isauro Aguirre was sentenced to death in downtown Los Angeles at the Clara Foltz Criminal Justice Center by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced said in a statement

“The horrific nature of Gabriel’s abuse and murder has been seared into our minds and the defendants will now spend the rest of their lives in prison for their reprehensible actions,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in the statement.

In February, Fernandez pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder and admitted the special circumstance allegation of intentional murder by torture.

Aguirre was found guilty by a jury first-degree murder in November 2017. The special circumstance allegation of intentional murder by torture was found to be true.

The Aguirre and Fernandez severely abused the boy for months leading up to his death on May 22, 2013. Gabriel was frequently beaten by Aguirre because he believed the boy was gay.

Gabriel suffered numerous injuries, including a fractured skull, 12 broken ribs and burns, prosecutors said. The boy also had been forced to eat cat feces and slept bound and gagged inside a small cabinet.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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