8-year old Gabriel Fernandez was called gay, tortured, and beaten to death by his mother and her boyfriend. Now, the couple will get a plea deal rather than the death penalty.
Over an eight-month period, Pearl Fernandez and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, called Pearl's son Gabriel Fernandez "gay," as "they doused him with pepper spray, forced him to eat his own vomit and locked him in a cabinet with a sock stuffed in his mouth to muffle his screams," court records state. The D.A. said the couple abused, beat, and tortured "more severely than many prisoners of war" 8-year old Gabriel to death. They have pled innocent.
The extent and scope of torture and abuse were horrific, as the L.A. Times detailed this summer.
Gabriel's mother, Pearl Fernandez, called 911 on May 22, 2013, to report that her son was not breathing. She told sheriff's deputies who arrived at the apartment that Gabriel had fallen and hit his head on a dresser, according to testimony. When paramedics arrived, they found Gabriel naked in a bedroom, not breathing, with a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin. He died two days later.
They said Gabriel was forced to eat cat feces, rotten spinach and his own vomit. He slept in a locked cabinet and wasn't let out to go to the bathroom. Fernandez and Aguirre called Gabriel gay, punished him when he played with dolls and forced him to wear girls' clothes to school, the siblings said.
Fernandez and Aguirre hit Gabriel with a belt buckle, a metal hanger, a small bat and a wooden club, Gabriel's brother said. Their mother once jabbed Gabriel in the mouth with a bat and knocked out several teeth, according to testimony.
Now, it appears they will avoid the death penalty by accepting a plea deal that gives them life in prison without parole. The pair will waive their right to appeal in exchange for pleading guilty to first degree murder and torture.
The Facebook page Gabriel's Justice, which has been calling for justice for the eight-year old and is organizing its followers to attend the sentencing, writes, "this Plea Agreement is a great thing."
The big thing here is, there was a plea agreement where the defendants are agreeing to plead guilty and receive life without the possibility of parole. This means, by not pushing for trial, we do not have to waste more tax-dollars on the defendants, we do not have to pull the babies in to do more recounting of events as witnesses and this means that those two people will NEVER have the ability to get out or even the 3 auto chances they get to appeal that accompanies the Death Penalty. Life without saves us money, as tax-payers, and keeps them behind bars. You say, how is this fair punishment? Well, think of it in the terms of what torture Gabriel went through. He was told what to eat, where he could urinate and defecate and basically treated like an animal for 8 months. They will not be allowed to be free until they die, in prison.
They state it "would take about 2 extra years to get to trial if we sought the death penalty, with numerous motions and defense arguments," and claim Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre "would sit on death row for over 30 years utilizing appeal after appeal with no closure for anyone."
California currently does not even have a legal way to implement the death penalty - our State has NO death penalty procedure - we don't have the drugs to use lethal injection
CA has not executed someone in almost a decade
Both will be placed in general population, there's no safety house for them. This would not be true on Death Row.