If you do not know about this case, here is a short summary.
Gabriel Fernandez was an 8-year-old boy who suffered atrocious physical abuse at the hands of his mother, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre. Gabriel suffered from this abuse for approximately 8 months before his death on May 24, 2013.
In the documentary, it was shown that Gabriel would come to school with what turned out to be cigarette burns, black eyes from being shot in the face with a BB gun, and many other bruises from God knows what. During the trial, both his older brother and sister testified and stated that Gabriel was forced to eat cat litter and would constantly be tied up and shoved in a cubby in their mother's bedroom.
I know what you're thinking. Why would anyone do this to such an innocent child? Homophobia was definitely involved and was probably the leading factor that led to it. When Gabriel was first born, he lived with his uncle and his uncle's partner. Gabriel's mother and her boyfriend believed Gabriel was also gay because he said that he loved them.
Another question you might be asking yourself is why didn't anyone stop this? Gabriel's teacher noticed all of the bruises on him and would call child services every day. In the documentary, it was shown that the social workers didn't take the necessary steps that they should have when it came to Gabriel's case.
The social workers would take the word of Gabriel's mother that the injuries he sustained were from accidents of him playing with his siblings and older kids. There was also an instance where a deputy was called out to the apartment they lived at to "scare" Gabriel. The deputy put Gabriel in the back of his squad car and told him that if he kept "lying" about what was happening, he would be the one to go to jail.
The charges that were given to Gabriel's mother and her boyfriend were first-degree murder with an allegation of intentional murder by torture. At the end of the trial, a jury decided that Pearl Fernadez deserved life in prison without parole. Isauro Aguirre was given the death sentence.
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