A mother made her eight year-old son eat cat feces before torturing him to death because she feared he was gay.
Pearl Fernandez, 34, will die in jail, while her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre, 37, was sentenced to death at an LA court Thursday for torturing and killing Gabriel Fernandez.
The twisted couple inflicted an horrific catalog of abuse on his young victim for eight months before his death in May 2013, dousing him with pepper spray, shooting his privates with a BB gun and forcing him to eat cat feces and his own vomit. They also stuffed socks in his mouth and locked him in a closet to muffle his screams, with their tempers flaring when the child played with dolls. After Gabriel finally succumbed to the abuse, medics found that he had a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung, according to the LA Times.
LAFD paramedic James Cermak told a court hearing in 2014: ‘It was just like every inch of this child had been abused Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami told jurors during their trial: ‘For eight straight months, he was abused, beaten and tortured more severely than many prisoners of war.’ James Kemp Ribe, from the LA County Coroner’s Office offered further detail of the scale of the abuse, saying: ‘I have never seen this many skin injuries on one child.’ The boy was sent to live with relatives shortly after he was born in 2005, but reclaimed by his mother and Aguirre in October 2012. His concerned teacher reported that the youngster had demonstrated how to snort cocaine, and that his mother had left him bleeding after hitting him with a belt.
She made further calls when Gabriel turned up at school with a bloody lip, black eyes and facial bruising, only for a social worker to dismiss her concerns. Shortly before his death, a counselor at a children’s center dialled 911 after discovering a suicide note he had written. That was also dismissed because the note did not contain a specific ‘plan’ he intended to carry out. Two social workers and supervisors were fired as a result of the repeated missed chances to save Gabriel.
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