US: Parents who beat 8-year-old to death because he played with dolls plea guilty
The parents of an eight-year-old who beat him to death because he played with dolls have pleaded guilty and will face life imprisonment.
Pearl Fernandez, 30, and Isauro Aguirre, 34, beat their son Gabriel Fernandez in May 2013, the Los Angeles court was told by prosecutors.
The eight year old was beaten “for eight straight months”, and he was “tortured more severely than many prisoners of war.” The child wrote his own suicide note because he could no longer take the abuse.
The parents have now pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and torture with special circumstances, waiving their right to appeal.
As a result, they will be facing life imprisonment rather than the death penalty.
According to statements given by his two siblings, he was forced to eat cat faeces and rotten spinach and was not allowed to use the toilet. He was called gay, and beaten when he played with dolls.
He was beaten with a metal hanger, a belt buckle and lost multiple teeth when he was hit with a bat.
His siblings said he was taken to a bedroom and beaten until he was dead, as he would not clean up his toys.
Two social workers and two supervisors were sacked following the death of the 8-year-old. Every incident report concluded with no abuse, and a detailed report was never written up.
A Facebook page which has been following the case said “justice has been served.”
Gabriel’s Justice posted: “The two would sit on death row for over 30 years utilizing appeal after appeal with no closure for anyone.
“Both will be placed in general population, there’s no safety house for them. This would not be true on Death Row.”