PALMDALE (AP) — A Palmdale woman and her boyfriend have pleaded not guilty to torturing and killing the woman’s 8-year-old son, who authorities say was battered to death.

Los Angeles County prosecutors say Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre entered pleas Wednesday to murder charges with special allegations of torture. Prosecutors haven’t decided whether to seek the death penalty.

The boy, Gabriel Fernandez, died in May 2013 days after he was hospitalized with injuries that included a cracked skull, broken ribs and burns.

Other relatives have sued the county for failing to remove the boy from the home. The suit says relatives, neighbors, teachers and others made more than 60 child-abuse reports to authorities who either ignored them or botched the investigations.

Four child-welfare officials were fired after the death.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, br


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