During the murder trial of Gabriel Fernandez, who was only 8 years old, was allegedly murdered by his stepfather in 2013.
The first-grade teacher of Gabriel Fernandez testified that he had told her, “Sometimes my mom makes me bleed.”
Jennifer Garcia, testified in court Wednesday for the trial of Isauro Aguirre, the boyfriend of Gabriel’s mother, Pearl Fernandez. The letter was written in shaky handwriting, and she found it hidden in his desk days after she learned of his brutal death. “I love you mom and Gabriel is a good boy,” the note said.
Garcia said Gabriel confided in her early on in 2013, during the school year and told her he was beaten at home. She immediately reported that information to the Department of Children and Family Services.
On October 25th, She told the court that it was obvious to her and the school staff that he was being abused physically as he was frequently absent and came to school with bruises.
Jennifer Garcia also testified that in late 2013, Gabriel had disclosed to her about the abuse when he said, “Sometimes, my mom hit me with the metal part of the belt on my bottom.”
Over the next few months, Garcia said she saw repeated bruises, burns, wounds and other injuries on the young boy. She said in at least one instance that Gabriel came to school wearing girls’ clothes.
He was absent for several days, Garcia was told he had been sent to live with family in Texas. She said she hoped it was true, but roughly a week later Gabriel died. The 8-year-old was found unresponsive at a Palmdale home in May 2013. He was hospitalized but eventually died from the severe injuries he had.
The autopsy showed that Gabriel Fernandez had a skull fracture, with severe burns, shattered ribs, and BB pellets in his skin. He died in 2013, two days after EMTs found him unresponsive in his home. Prosecutors reported that Pearl Fernandez, the mother of the boy, and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre, kidnapped the boy from the home of his grandfather, who had custody of him and tortured him because they thought he was gay.
The prosecution is expected to rest its case by Nov. 1. The defense will then have the opportunity to present its case for Aguirre.
Garcia had reported the case to California’s Department of Children and Family Services, allowing the agency to kick-start the investigation into the alleged abuse.She also testified that she had confronted Gabriel about the bruises on his face and only after she pressing him for more details, he said that his mother had shot at him with a BB gun.
When asked why he had lied to her, Gabriel told her, “Because when I tell you, and that lady comes [a social worker], I get hurt worse.”
Garcia testified during the trial, “I didn’t want to call. I didn’t know what to do. I don’t know how I could look at his face and not be able to assure him that that wasn’t going to happen again when I couldn’t say that.” As a result, Four social workers with the agency have been charged in connection with Gabriel’s death, and they will stand trial in the spring.
Days after the boy died, Garcia said that she had found a note Gabriel had written on his desk at school: “I love you, Mom. Gabriel is a good boy.”
What do you think about this tragic death of this little young boy?