LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – A jury recommended Wednesday that a Palmdale man be sentenced to death for the torture-murder of his girlfriend’s 8-year-old son, who was repeatedly shot with a BB gun, beaten and forced to sleep in a small cabinet with his hands and feet bound and his mouth gagged.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury convicted Isauro Aguirre of first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend’s 8-year-old son in November.

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The jury also found that the 37-year-old Aguirre intentionally tortured little Gabriel Fernandez.

Fernandez died May 24, 2013, of injuries that included a fractured skull, broken ribs and burns across his body.

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The jury was ordered to return Nov. 27 to begin the penalty phase of the trial, which could lead to the death penalty.

The victim’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, faces trial separately. She has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Prosecutors also allege that four county social workers were negligent in the boy’s case and have filed charges of child abuse and falsifying records against them.

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