A man from Palmdale, by the name of Isauro Aguirre, was indicted Wednesday morning on charges that include murder in the first degree with the possibility of receiving the death sentence. 37-year-old Aguirre tortured his 8-year-old son, Gabriel Fernandez, before killing him back in May of 2013. Aguirre along with the boy’s mother are both suspected of brutally abusing the child in the months leading up to his death. Michael Sklar is Aguirre’s attorney and claimed that Aguirre only exploded after Gabriel lied in front of Aguirre about suggesting to his mother that she should leave him. Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, mother of Gabriel Fernandez, allowed the abuse to continue and along with her husband only took the child from maternal grandparents in order to collect money from the state. According to Aguirre’s attorney, she was the one responsible for much of the abuse prior to his death. The couple forced him to eat soiled cat litter, cat feces, and tied him up every night in a small locked cabinet. Aguirre reportedly punched, starved, and strongly disliked the young boy because he thought he was gay. The couple only then called 911 when the boy became unconscious after Aguirre lost his temper. The boy was rushed to the hospital and taken off life support after being declared brain dead.
The defense tried to argue that the situation was an act of rage and that the defendant was merely guilty of second-degree murder and not first because it was not premeditated. Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami counter-argued that the defendant did indeed plan the child’s death preceding his death because he mentally, physically and emotionally abused him. Hatami informed the jury that Aguirre was an “evil man” and took pleasure in abusing 8-year-old Gabriel in order to further prove his point that the defendant should be charged with first-degree murder. He also told the jury to “not make excuses for the defendant” and it had nothing to do with “mental issues.” After much deliberation, the jury panel found both Isauro Aguirre and Pearl Sinthia Fernandez guilty of murder in the first degree. Aguirre’s trial will start November 27th in which jurors will decide his fate. They will be asked to choose between giving him a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. Pearl Sinthia Fernandez is still awaiting trial and the prosecution is seeking the death penalty for her as well.
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