A Southern California man accused of beating and torturing an 8-year-old boy whom he and his ex-girlfriend, the boy's mother, called "gay," has decided not to take a plea deal to murder charges, sources told Los Angels' NBC-affiliate KNBC Thursday.
Although it was initially reported that Isauro Aguirre and his ex-girlfriend, Pearl Fernandez, Gabriel Fernandez's mother, took to a plea deal that calls for life in prison without chance for parole and no appeals, sources told KNBC last week Aguirre has not taken the deal.
Aguirre and Fernandez were planning to plead guilty to first-degree murder and torture charges with special circumstances, the source said. Aguirre has until the Dec. 3 court hearing to accept the deal or not and go to trial on the charges. KNBC reports the plea deal was officially submitted into court Thursday.
Gabriel Fernandez was found barely breathing in his mother's home in Palmdale, Calif. (North of Los Angeles) on May 22, 2013. He died two days later, after paramedics found the boy naked in his bedroom with a cracked skull and broken ribs. He also showed signs of having been restrained and shot by a BB gun in the groin.
The 8-year-old boy suffered other forms of torture that lasted over the course of eight months. Sources point out that the then-couple called Gabriel Fernandez "gay" and beat him with belts and baseball bats when he was caught playing with dolls. According to authorities, the boy's mother and her then-boyfriend forced him to eat cat feces and his own vomit. They also doused him in pepper spray and locked him inside a cabinet with a sock stuffed in his mouth.
Pearl Fernandez and Aguirre were arrested the day he was discovered. They were charged with capital murder in the boy's death on May 28, 2013.