Child ‘killed for being gay’ had his head smashed into a wall hundreds of times
An eight-year-old allegedly killed by his mother’s boyfriend because he thought the boy was gay had his head smashed into a wall hundreds of times, a court has heard.
Isauro Aguirre made Gabriel Fernandez wear stereotypically female clothes to school before using torture methods to kill him, including beating, whipping and starving him, the prosecution has said.
They told jurors that their brother was forced to eat food that had gone off, and – when he threw up from eating these items – his own vomit.
He was also beaten daily, pepper sprayed and bound and forced into a tiny cubby for long periods, they said.
Ezequiel, who is now 16, said Aguirre shot Gabriel with a BB gun in the face and groin and beat him using wire hangers and a belt buckle.
The accused also pinned Gabriel against the wall by the neck until he lost consciousness, the teenager added.
Yesterday, criminal specialists and investigators took the stand to give their horrifying testimony, LGBTQ Nation has reported.
Tiffany Shew, a Senior Criminalist with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, showed the jury shocking photos of the flat in which Aguirre, Hernandez and the children lived.
Hundreds of blood stains and indentations were found on the walls, with a horrific origin.
She said they came from Aguirre slamming Gabriel’s head into the wall.
There were so many marks on the wall, Shew said, that she ran out of evidence stickers to denote all of them.
Forensic testing also revealed that Gabriel’s blood was on multiple items in the home, including a wooden club, a baseball bat and computer cords.
His DNA was also discovered inside the cubby where Aguirre and his mother allegedly kept him bound and gagged for long periods without food or water, even if he needed the toilet.
Stephan Schliebe, a criminologist, backed up the prosecution’s allegation that Gabriel was fed cat litter, adding that he was also forced to eat cat poo.
Schliebe said the contents of the eight-year-old’s stomach resembled a kitty litter sample, with a mixture of poo and litter filling a large part of his abdomen.
Alison Segal, a registered nurse, told the jury that Gabriel’s injuries were so severe when he was brought to hospital before dying that she didn’t have time to perform a “comprehensive assessment”.
She said that Gabriel had damaged genitals, a cracked skull, missing front teeth, three broken ribs and patches of skin which were missing, burned or bruised.
He also had BB pellets embedded in his lungs and groin, Segal said.
Gabriel’s brother Ezequiel had previously testified that Aguirre shot Gabriel with a BB gun in the face and groin.
In March, four social workers were charged with child abuse for their roles in Gabriel’s death, with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Lou Villar saying that “red flags were everywhere.”
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Villar said that the social workers mishandled evidence and failed to file timely reports, describing their actions as “criminal negligence.”
The social workers have pleaded not guilty.
Gabriel’s mother Pearl Fernandez will be tried separately.
Both she and Aguirre, who have pleaded not guilty, could face the death penalty.