Los Angeles Couple Arrested For Torturing, Murdering ‘Gay Acting’ Eight-Year-Old Son – VIDEO

Gabriel Fernandez, an eight-year-old from Antelope Valley, Los Angeles, was allegedly murdered by his mother and her boyfriend for “acting gay”

Gabriel fernandez

Gabriel Fernandez, an eight-year-old from Antelope Valley, Los Angeles, was allegedly murdered by his mother and her boyfriend for ‘acting gay,’ reports the LA Times.

Gabriel, who died in May 2013, was allegedly beaten, doused with pepper spray, forced to eat his own vomit and locked in a cabinet with a sock in his mouth to muffle his screams.

FernandezGabriel’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, both of whom pleaded not guilty, are in jail awaiting trial on charges of capital murder and a special circumstance of torture.

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami said that Gabriel “was abused, beaten and tortured more severely than many prisoners of war” for eight months.

Two of the boy’s siblings confirmed that Gabriel was forced to eat cat feces, rotten spinach and vomit; that he slept in a locked cabinet and wasn't let out to go to the bathroom; and that Fernandez and Aguirre called him gay, punished him when he played with dolls and forced him to wear girls' clothes to school.

According to testimony, Pearl Fernandez once jabbed Gabriel in the mouth with a bat and knocked out several teeth.

One of Gabriel’s siblings said that on the day of the fatal beating, Fernandez began hitting her son because he didn't want to pick up his toys. She then dragged him into a bedroom, where Aguirre joined her, and the siblings heard screaming, banging and then silence.

James Kemp Ribe of the L.A. County coroner's office told the grand jury that Gabriel died as a result of blunt-force trauma and child neglect.  He added, "I have never seen this many skin injuries on one child.”

Gabriel's mother called 911 on May 22nd, 2013. She told sheriff's deputies that Gabriel had fallen and hit his head on a dresser. Paramedics 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.

The incident has prompted calls for reforms to the Los Angeles County foster-care system because child welfare workers failed to remove Fernandez from his home. Moves have since been taken to fire two social workers and two supervisors, while others involved in the case have received letters of warning or reprimand.

Watch a CBS report, AFTER THE JUMP

[Photo via KTLA]


  1. Martin says

    SCOTUS now directly shares blame when we read future stories like this. The stay granted in VA tells our fellow countrymen that we are ‘less than’ and unequal and deserving of a lack of human rights. That both creates and perpetuates the climate in which these horrors happen.

  2. ToThePoint says

    Thank you religion for there would be no hate, discrimination, bigotry, violence, murders or suicide of our LGBT population – especially youth. God teaches hate and violence from the pulpit, according to his living disciples. This hatred has got to stop!

  3. Dale says

    My feeling in these cases is that the punishment should suit the crime … this couple should be treated exactly like they treated this defenseless little boy …

  4. Jeff says

    So much to say and so little that I am able to. Bless this soul of this child who should never have had to go through such things. I am struck by so much but also think of how many parents gay or straight that would love to have had Gabriel as their child.

  5. Malcolm says

    May God change the heart of the parents. The child has entered eternal rest and life with the Lord now and remembers not the horrors of this world.

  6. Rad says

    The problem, jack, is they don’t feel like they did anything wrong. I suspect they have the same mind set as the anti-abortionists who openly brag about murdering the clinic doctors and staff.

    At minimum, chemical castration to him and complete hyustorectomy for her; the should never be permitted to bring another life into this world.

    Why is it that as long as there have been civilizations of humanity, religion in one form or another was always the catalyst that has caused them to fall?

  7. Gigi says

    I’m against capital punishment but in this case, I’d gladly make an exception. Although,
    kiddie killers usually get “special attention” inside so, there’s that.

  8. Gigi says

    I just watched the news report. Six sheriff’s deputies have been “disciplined” for not doing enough to help save Gabriel. They were called to the home FIVE TIMES in the months leading up to his death for suspected physical abuse. Despite the fact that they found a little boy whose face was swollen and badly bruised from beatings(according to his siblings), they did nothing to help him, nor did they report the abuse to the authorities. Their supervisors called the deputies’ “missteps” MINOR.

  9. jjose712 says

    She is a monster. But she is far from being the only guilty of this, and i’m not talking about the stupid boyfriend.

    If they beat the poor child for eight months how it’s possible nobody reacted and did something

  10. johnny says

    Who were the teachers for this child?

    There’s no way they could not have noticed what was happening to this boy if these wounds were THAT visible.

    There’s a lot of culpability going on here, teachers, neighbors, cops, foster care system….

    WAKE THE F*CK UP, people, take an interest, notice this kind of stuff and report it!!!

  11. Derrick from Philly says

    Little Gabriel’s mother and her filthy boyfriend are the worst kind of human beings. They are as horrible as the bastards who decapitated the American journalist, Mr Foley, yesterday.

    My co-worker from housekeeping came in the office about an half an hour ago. He asked me (not expecting a serious answer) was I crying?

    I said, yes, a little. I can’t stop this morning.

    To torture and murder a defenseless child–probably the most dispicable and cowardly act a human being can commit.

  12. Howard says

    The exception to my liberal left-wing leanings is the death penalty. Never was capital punishment more appropropriate than in this horrific case. And since drugs have become unreliable as the method of choice, I suggest baseball bats.

  13. Anony6 says

    The social workers, the cops, and the teachers who were all obligated to step in, and didn’t, should be fired. The sons murder sounds like it was preventable.

    This story is absolutely horrible. It’s scary, saddening, and infuriating that people like these parents exist. The other two surviving sons will have so much trauma to deal with.

  14. Mike in the Tundra says

    @ Johnny – strangely enough I have some experience along these lines. In the neighborhood where I taught, there came a revelation that one family had locked their daughter in a closet for several years. How did the school not know what was going on? Simple. The child was never enrolled in school and nobody in the neighborhood knew of the child’s existence.

  15. Derrick from Philly says


    you’re absolutely right in how these abused children escape the authorities. We had a case here in Philly a year ago. A little boy was tortured, burned and beaten to death. His name was Rashawn, I believe. Little Rashawn’s mother and her boyfriend claimed they were “home schooling” him. As for His birth father and the neighbors on that block…well, what can I say?

    The little boy’s father’s sister ( little Rashawn’s aunt) lived next door to where the torture and murder took place.

    These horrors are so painful–especially for the child.

  16. MickyFlip says

    This makes me feel so enraged reading the horrific things done to this poor child. I’m for water torturing these two and whatever else. And I won’t be sorry about it. These two don’t deserve to die. I’d rather hear their screams as well. I want them to feel the exact same pain they inflicted on the child. And I know that sounds disturbing. But I can’t help feeling these two deserve the worst punishment. Death is too easy for these two. I’d rather they suffer the same fate.

  17. AnthonyR says

    I cannot believe this story, it is so heartbreaking. These assholes should be given the death penalty and in addition to Capital Murder be charged with a Hate Crime for the reason of the murder and torture was the fact that this young boy was perceived as gay.

  18. UFFDA says

    It’s no use denying it, I couldn’t do it myself, but I would like to know that these two have been severely tortured every day for as long as it takes to make them beg to be killed. My sorrow for the boy thirsts for vengeance.

  19. Bryan L says

    I want to name some people and organizations who contributed to this unbelievable and heartbreaking tragedy: Scott Lively, Bryan Fisher, Tony Perkins, Michael Savage, Pat Robertson, NORML, the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, Iran, Uganda, the Russian State Assembly, the Westboro Baptist Church…and the list goes on and on and on. As long as these people continue spewing forth their hate and lies and bigotry, there will be violence against gay people, anyone considered gay…and now an eight-year-old child.

  20. says

    take note – what was it, specifically, that made his parents so angry, because they though he was being “gay”? was it expressing a specific identity? was it a declaration of attraction to other males? no. it was, and make no mistake about this, the very VERY SAME sexist, misogynistic nonsense that many a hateful anonymous troll spews in here daily.

    so, congrats to this site’s resident two trolls and your worthless various screen names: your sexist internalized homophobic misogyny and learned-loathing for perceived “effeminacy’ is the reason this kid is dead.

    make no mistake. what you hate in yourself and what you type in here every day hating “in others” is the some thing that these two worthless excuses for parents hated about their own son, so they killed him.


  21. Dback says

    What’s appalling is, most of the time people in these cases don’t even get life in prison–they’ll probably be paroled within 20-30 years, at an age when their kids are having children. Our society talks a good game about protecting the defenseless and the innocent, but when the rubber hits the road we usually don’t throw the book at these people as hard as they deserve it.

    My partner and I don’t have kids, but sometimes I’ve seriously thought about placing an ad or a billboard or something: IF YOU DON’T WANT YOUR CHILD OR ARE GOING TO HURT OR KILL IT, FOR GOD’S SAKE GIVE IT TO US TO RAISE.

  22. Derrick from Philly says

    @ DBACK,

    you’re right.

    If you kill someone else’s child you will get an appropriate prison sentence–in some states even a death sentence. If you kill your “OWN” child…well, maybe you’ll get a few years in prison.

    Our nation is peculiar that way. It’s a dirty damned shame.

  23. anon says

    The motive in these kinds of cases are entirely incidental. Children are 100 times more likely to be murdered by their step-parents or “bf/gf” of their remaining parent than they are by their biological parent–largely because there is no emotional bond and the adult feels the child is just a huge burden. Of course the bf wanted to get rid of the child, he doesn’t “behave”, gets in the way, demands attention and costs a lot of money. The mother was probably so dependent on the bf for emotional and financial support that she would happily sacrifice her kid to protect her own future. There are several thousand of these kinds of cases every year in the US. The “authorities” don’t care for exactly the same reason–these cases are just a lot of paperwork hassles for them when they are trying to reduce their workloads every year to get out of the office by 3pm every day.

  24. ChadSF says

    It would even be foolish for all of us to think that this news would ever get ant traction in any religious news/blog sites. It really broke my heart when I read the details of the child’s abuse. I just kept on thinking how scared he was, how hopeless and helpless he must’ve felt. I couldn’t bear the thought or even envision this whole thing without feeling total rage and anger towards these two.
    This is what religion does to you and yes, prison is not enough to pay for what they did. #eyeforaneye #lifeforalife

  25. ToThePoint says

    @Sam. The article did not have to say religion had anything to do with it. I am smart enough to know that all hatred and bigotry is sourced directly from the bible and is the source of our vilification. If the writers of the bible had not written what they had, we would be just fine (and all minorities, for that matter). If you research, all historic fights against civil rights have had their roots in the scriptures of the bible. The bible says we shall be put to death and these parents carried out these “orders”. I reiterate – if not for religion, we, nor anyone else, would be persecuted, beaten and/ or murdered.

  26. OmgyjyaSwitch7 says

    Thank many of you commenters here for articulating for me what I don’t think I can right now – I’m beside myself with rage.

    The one thing I’d like to add, is that this breathtakingly EVIL instance goes beyond the individuals involved.
    This is an act committed by the global anti-gay movement against all gay communities everywhere.
    This is the pure distilled EVIL of the anti-gay movement. This was an act committed against all of us, not just that poor little boy (rest his soul).

    I wish anti-gays nothing but the worst life has to offer. I wish I could do to all anti-gays what these goblins did.

    This instance should be rubbed in the faces of all anti-gay pundits, forever.
    This is probably the worst, ugliest fatal gay-bashing I’ve ever read about I think.

  27. Randy says

    The cops who could have saved this boy’s life should be in prison for the rest of theirs.

    When there’s no punishment for letting kids die, then kids die.

  28. Red says

    MONSTROUS and EVIL. That poor little boy. I cannot stand to read these kinds of horrific stories. I hope his ‘parents’ have hell to pay for the rest of their miserable lives. They need to SUFFER the worst possible pain for what they did to this beautiful boy.

  29. Chica says

    This makes my physically sick. He looks so much like my 7 year old nephew. *crying* RIP sweet boy. They can’t hurt you ever again.

    I don’t even have words for what I feel about the “mom” and boyfriend or what I think should happen to them, but it should be slow, terrifying and the worst pain imaginable.

  30. Bernie says

    I can barely read this and not get sick to the stomach and become raging mad! Even if this child was “acting” gay at age 8, did he deserve this kind of treatment?!!??! I guess these sicko parents thought they could beat the gay out of this poor kid, kind of like praying the gay away…..and I am quite sure that right wingers would say these parents were better then any same sex parents….also, social services should be ashamed for not protecting this kid…I wish they would hang these parents by their toenails and fingernails upside down…..

  31. says

    @TimP: It’s in the news because the LATimes has done an investigative piece based on extensive grand jury testimony.

    And it should be in the news no matter when the events happened–it shows how twisted homo/transphobes can be that they’d abuse their child to death for acting outside of their narrow-minded gender “norms.” This kind of hatred must be exposed.

  32. Honesty says

    This story truly makes me sick to my stomach. I hate humanity when I read things like this. The parents should NEVER SEE DAYLIGHT AGAIN and the CPS agent who ignored it also needs jail time.

  33. Bill says

    @Anony6 : according to the LA times article, the teachers at the kid’s school did what they were supposed to do – report it. Meanwhile the social workers in this area were (a) inexperienced and (b) had abnormally large caseloads. At one point, someone gave the police the wrong address, and the murder victim’s siblings lied to the police about what was happening because they were afraid the same thing would happen to them (they were threatened by the adults in their “family”).

    Apparently the teachers made multiple reports and at one point absences were explained by claiming the the child had moved out of state.

    The guilt of each party for the actual murder is not clear at this point – the reports indicated that others could hear the kid scream but were not in the room where the murder occurred. Even if one did not participate in the murder, that person obviously did nothing to stop it. Determining who did what will probably be important in deciding which of the two adults (and maybe both) is guilty of murder versus some related offense. The D.A. may decide to charge both with murder even if he suspects that a single person did it in order to encourage one rat to rat on the other rat. We probably won’t get a good idea of who actually did what until the trial.

  34. Hawthorne says

    Before the two adults are committed to life in prison for this unspeakably evil crime, I really hope that someone will study all the circumstances of their lives. If we can understand the type of situation(s) the mother and boyfriend grew up in, we might have an insight into how they became such monsters, and, possibly, avert more murders in similar situations. Yes, I know that is naive, but our society needs to learn from this event in order to prevent more such events in the future. ARE YOU LISTENING, GROUPS WHO CLAIM TO DEFEND THE FAMILY?

  35. Jerry6 says

    I was brought up by a VERY Catholic Mother, and a non religious Father. One day, my Mother saw me talking to a Jewish boy that lived around the corner from us. That night, she told my Father what I had done. Consequently, he got his Razor Strop (Razor blades had not become available then.),and proceeded to give me the worst beating I ever had. I could not sit down in a chair for three days without a pillow, and missed two days of school. Talk about bigotry!

    Post script: For the past 32 years I have been living with a Gay friend who just happens to be Jewish.

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