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The details of the 2013 death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez at the hands of Isauro Aguirre are a horrifying mix of heartbreak and disbelief. Over four years have passed since then, and now Aguirre is finally standing trial for the murder of Fernandez.

In a Los Angeles suburb in 2013, 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez was tortured and eventually brutally murdered by Isauro Aguirre because the man believed the young boy was gay. Fernandez suffered through an 8-month span of abuse at the hands of Aguirre before he was found severely beaten in his L.A. home with a host of injuries including a skull fracture, shattered ribs and severe burns. The boy unfortunately died at the hospital from his injuries two days later after being taken off life support.

Years have passed, but Aguirre’s trial for the murder of Fernandez has finally started as reported by PEOPLE magazine. The trial is scheduled to last for eight weeks, during which time the horrific details of the case will be revealed, including Fernandez being gagged and bound inside a cabinet in his home.


Isauro Aguirre allegedly tortured the boy over an 8-month span because he believed him to be gay.  “This wasn’t about drugs. This wasn’t about mental health issues,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami told a jury on Monday.  He abused Fernandez, he said, “because he didn’t like him … he believed Gabriel was gay and to him, that was a bad thing … he did it out of hatred of a little boy.”

“The evidence will show that the defendant is nothing more than a bully,” he continued, “He was a security guard who intentionally tortured and abused a helpless and innocent little boy.” The district attorney shared harrowing and gruesome details of what the child endured at the hand’s of his mother Pearl Fernandez’s boyfriend, including starvation, being fed cat feces and his own vomit, and sleeping in closets.

Paramedic James Cermak was the first witness to be called to the stand. He revealed that when he retrieved the boy’s body from his home, it “limp, lifeless.” He also shed light on the markings found on Fernandez including “strangulation marks around his neck … bite marks, and bruises head-to-toe.”

Aguirre isn’t the only being tried for the murder of Fernandez, as his mother Pearl Fernandez is facing her on separate trial that is set to begin soon. She and Aguirre allegedly exchanged text messages detailing Aguirre’s plan to kill her son. There are also four social workers, Stefanie Rodriguez, Patricia Clement, Kevin Bom, and Gregory Merritt, who are all facing charges for negligence and falsifying records because they failed to document the prior abuse that Fernandez suffered before he was eventually killed.


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Trial Commences For Man Who Killed 8-Year-Old He Thought Was Gay  was originally published on