LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Closing arguments began Monday in the murder trial of Gabriel Fernandez.
Isauro Aguirre, the boy’s mother’s boyfriend, is charged with the torture-murder of 8-year-old Gabriel, whose death led to criminal charges against two former social workers and two of their supervisors.
Little Gabriel suffered numerous injuries from his head to his feet and eight BBs were recovered from his body after his death in May 2013, a senior deputy medical examiner testified. Prosecutors say Aguirre believed Gabriel was gay.
Aguirre, 37, is charged with murder, along with a special circumstance allegation of murder involving the infliction of torture. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Aguirre and his girlfriend, Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, 34, who will be tried separately.
One of Aguirre’s attorneys, John Alan, acknowledged during his opening statement that his client committed “unspeakable acts of abuse” against the boy before “exploding into a rage of anger.” But the defense contends that Aguirre never meant to kill the child.
Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel were called to the family’s home in the 200 block of East Avenue Q-10 in response to a call that the boy was not breathing. He was declared brain dead that day, then taken off life support two days later.
Aguirre and the boy’s mother have remained jailed without bail since being charged in May 2013 with the boy’s death. The two were subsequently indicted by a Los Angeles County grand jury.
Two former Los Angeles County social workers — Stefanie Rodriguez and Patricia Clement — and supervisors Kevin Bom and Gregory Merritt were charged last year with one felony count each of child abuse and falsifying public records in connection with the case.
Jurors are expected to have the case against Aguirre by Tuesday.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)