A jury voted a Los Angeles man to get the death penalty after he was convicted of the first-degree murder of a child he thought was gay.
Isauro Aguirre was convicted in November of torturing and killing 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez over an eight month period, according to PinkNews. The jury heard testimony of Aguirre hitting, shooting with a BB gun and starving Fernandez, as well as feeding him both cat feces and his own vomit during that time.
Aguirre believed the child was gay and that caused him to hurt him, according to Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami.
Pearl Fernandez, Gabriel’s mother, was dating Aguirre during the eight-month period. She pleaded not guilty in her separate trial over her son’s death.
“We were plucked out of our everyday lives and brought together to serve,” the jury forewoman said. “We came together to bring justice for Gabriel.”
Gabriel’s father sat solemnly after Aguirre’s penalty was read, according to PinkNews. He later thanked a sheriff's deputy who had helped investigate the case as he left.
Four social workers were charged in March for their roles in Gabriel’s death. They all have pleaded not guilty.
Aguirre will be sentenced on Mar. 8.