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Death penalty for man who severely abused child who he thought was gay

Gabriel Fernandez died after severe torture and abuse in 2013.

Isauro Aguirre, 37, and Pearl Fernandez, 34, who killed Fernandez’s eight-year-old because they thought he was gay have been sentenced.

On Thursday, Los Angels County Superior Court heard testimony about how the couple tortured the young Gabriel Fernandez with starvation, beatings, malnourishment, solitary confinement and physical abuse, including having his teeth knocked out.

Gabriel also had burns, broken ribs and a cracked skull. His mother pleaded guilty to murder in February and her boyfriend was found guilty last year of intentionally torturing the child.

Judge George Lomeli who reports say is usually quiet during his trials said the abuse was beyond animalistic and not even animals would treat their kin that way.

“It goes without saying that the conduct was horrendous and inhumane and nothing short of evil,” Judge Lomeli said. “It’s beyond animalistic because animals know how to take care of their young.”

It was in 2013 that Gabriel’s mother called the paramedics because her son wasn’t breathing due to what she said was a fall. Two days later he passed away.

His siblings testified that Aguirre repeatedly abused their brother, called him “gay” and administered extreme punishments if he played with dolls. He was also forced to wear girl’s clothes to school.

It’s reported that child protective agencies had been called to the home several times but took no action and prosecutors have filed appropriate charges against four county workers.

His teacher spoke in court saying that Gabriel is finally at peace unlike his parents.

“They will have a lifetime of suffering to endure,”  she said, “and I know I’m not alone in hoping they experience the same abuse in their lifetime and worse.”

California has not executed a prisoner since 2006.