Arraignment postponed for accused child killers

Eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez was allegedly tortured to death by his mother and her boyfriend, authorities said.

Eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez was allegedly tortured to death by his mother and her boyfriend.

LANCASTER – A Palmdale couple charged with torturing the woman’s 8-year-old son to death appeared in an Antelope Valley courtroom for a scheduled arraignment on Tuesday (June 11).

But 29-year-old Pearl Fernandez and 32-year-old Isauro Aguirre did not enter a plea. Their arraignment was postponed again, this time until August 13.

Fernandez and Aguirre are each charged with one count of capital murder in connection with the deadly beating of Fernandez’s son, Gabriel.

Gabriel died on May 24, two days after he was rushed to the hospital with a fractured skull, cracked ribs, burns and bruises throughout his body.

Aguirre and Fernandez are each charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty, if convicted.

Aguirre and Fernandez are each charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty, if convicted.

In an interview with detectives, Fernandez admitted to being present while Aguirre abused Gabriel and caused his injuries, sheriff’s officials said.

Several neighbors at the couple’s Palmdale apartment complex said they were aware that Gabriel was being abused. Gabriel often had bruises on his face, arms and legs, and at times, he was forced to wear girls’ clothing as a form of punishment, according to neighbor Claudia Segoviano. (Read more here)

Gabriel’s teacher said she too witnessed the abuse and had reported it to social workers on many occasions. (Read more here.)

Since the incident, County Supervisor Michael Antonovich has launched an investigation into how Gabriel’s case was handled by the Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

According to the Los Angeles Times, social workers left Gabriel in the home despite six abuse investigations involving Fernandez over the last decade.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, DCFS Director Philip Browning acknowledged that the system had failed Gabriel; and four social workers have been placed on desk duty pending possible disciplinary action, the newspaper reported. (Read that article here.)

Gabriel’s plight has drawn worldwide attention, with thousands mobilizing through a facebook page titled “Gabriel’s Justice.” (View it here.)

A local recording artist, Cali Martin, has recorded “Gabriel’s Song.” (Listen to it below.)

Prosecutors will decide at a later date whether to seek the death penalty for Fernandez and Aguirre, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

Previous related stories:

Couple charged with capital murder in death of Palmdale boy

Justice for Gabriel protest, teacher speaks out

Palmdale boy dies after abuse, mother and boyfriend arrested

  22 comments for “Arraignment postponed for accused child killers

  1. ghost
    June 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I was at a vigil where the grandpa spoke..just wanted to say he covered up for that animal of his daughter..he stated that pearl had burnt gabriels feet with spoons hot spoons!!! Why didnt he take him to the hospital? He also warned her shed b caught one day!! Shady

  2. June 13, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Hi everyone, I wanted to correct who ever wrote this article about A local recording artist, Willie Calderon, has recorded “Gabriel’s Song.” It was actually me ” Cali Martin” who recorded and wrote the song I am “Willy Calderon” recording artist’ Cali Martin and Willy Calderon collaborated on “Gabriel’s song” I am the recording artist and he is the producer.

    • sikntired
      June 13, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Who cares?

      • June 13, 2013 at 10:30 am

        I actually care being I “Cali Martin” wrote the song and recorded it for “Gabriel” just wanted to clear that up.

        • sikntired
          June 13, 2013 at 10:59 am

          This story is not about your ego, it’s about a murdered child.

          • Yvette
            June 14, 2013 at 9:26 am


    • Nancy P
      June 13, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Thanks Cordell. You did a great job and I understand an artist wanting credit for their work.

      • June 14, 2013 at 11:27 am

        Thank you for understanding and I totally understand this is not about me at all, my apologies to whom may see this as a ego boost simply an misunderstanding was not intended. My heart goes out to all who are affected by this horrible tragedy may Gabriel “rest in heaven” again “thank you all for understanding”._God bless

    • June 13, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Thank you for clearing that up. We have made the correction in the story. Thanks for reading!

      • June 14, 2013 at 11:30 am

        No problem and Thank you!

  3. Dee
    June 12, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    I heard that the grandfather is sending money to his daughter. Possibly the money that was raised for Gabriel??? I hope not…

  4. cocheesie
    June 12, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    as far as the money that was allegedly stolen by family members… it is horrifying to think that gabriel was still being abused after his murder.

  5. cocheesie
    June 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    sammy, the social workers are scape goats? how so? they are still working, getting their nails done, going out to eat… poor pitiful them.

    • LG
      June 13, 2013 at 9:12 am

      And giving them desk work is not a punishment. If anything, those social workers are probably glad for the break. They need to be retrained.

  6. June 12, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Yes, it is sad. I just learned that the grandfather collected more than 5 grand and has his house remodeled. Makes me sick because he and his wife were on t.v. crying over Gabriel. They could have saved him, but did not, and now they just want money…oh Lord.
    Many of us didn’t know that there was more than 1 group collecting money to bury Gabriel. Yet from what the news said (not local), he was cremated, and I know that is not expensive. My main question is where is the money that many people sacrificed out of the kindness of their hearts. All monies collected should go to a special fund that is designated for children that are killed like Gabriel. I wasn’t able to attend the services, but I thank those that did go.
    Just hoping that this does not happen to anymore innocent children…They cannot defend themselves and if they tell, nothing is done…Just like in dearly departed Gabriel’s case.

    • an angry parent
      June 13, 2013 at 9:10 am

      they most likely using the money for themselfs they problably and for sure sending money to their daugther to cover for toiletries people like that dont care all they do use the opportunitie to their own advantage and scam people i still dont believe that they couldn’t do nothing for their grandson

  7. Community Member
    June 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    These so called “social workers” since they won’t be fired they need to be suspended without pay pending investigation (though we all know they’re just as gulity for being negligent to the matter). They then need to prosecuted or so… c’mon desk duty, really??? what a slap in the face to our community… these people have innocent blood on their hands too.. it’s so sad how there workers are being protected by the system yet tell me who protected cause they sure as heck didn’t do it. they failed him, the system failed him!!! Karma karma karma… will come back to get them big time that’s for sure where it will hurt them the most for their lack of doing their job right!!!

  8. jessica
    June 12, 2013 at 7:07 am

    the 4 “social workers” should not be continuing to work @dpss. even at a desk. they have already proven themselves incompetent. disgusting how many adults let Gabriel down. He is beautiful, and deserved love and safety.

    • AVcares
      June 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

      You know Jessica, I hope those 4 social workers are NOT working on any other active children’s cases. If they are allowed to still work they should only be cleaning the bathrooms and sweeping floors. Should have been out the door for good!!!

      • sammy P
        June 12, 2013 at 11:49 am

        The 4 social workers did nothing wrong. They have supervisors who monitor their cases and saw no fault – they are just being made a scapegoat because the public demands it.

        They don’t want us to know the truth, which is, that there are kids out there right now with a WORSE abuse history then poor Gabriel who are STILL with the bad parents. Do you really think the state can afford to take every kid away that really NEEDS to be taken away? And taken away to what? Oh foster homes in LA county are just so nice and perfect huh? Or have we all already forgotten about the 2 little kids who were starved and abused by their foster mom a few months ago?

        In a perfect world- EVERY baby born in a low income neighborhood to a worthless mom who just wants the baby to boost her income through extra welfare/housing/food stamps should be removed, but the state simply can’t afford that, and those kids born to those moms WILL be neglected and WILL be abused and even though Gabriels case ended tragically- there are MANY cases just like Gabriel’s that don’t end in death.

        Now if you want to have every kid removed from a home in which the level of abuse was equal to what Gabriel endured before the day of his death, then I suggest you start discussing how to pay for it.

        Did you know that up to 5 mg of feces in 100 mg of peanut butter is allowed by the FDA? Well guess what, there is also a limit of child abuse we have to put up in our society as well. Had Gabrial survived his injuries, then he would have met the requirements to be removed from the home.

        Welcome to the real world, kinda sucks don’t it?

  9. June 11, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Well I certainly hope that these 2 criminal/child murderers get what they deserve. Poor helpless Gabriel didn’t deserve to live like he did. Not only is the DCSF culpable, the immediate family and Sheriff also failed this poor and dearly departed child.
    Now I know why this is the child abuse capital…no one care for the innocent children.

    R.I.P. forever little Gabriel…

    • i agree
      June 12, 2013 at 2:26 am

      immediate family where was you ??? We know where your at now seeking publicity and money. It would have saved Gabriel if you would have picketed/protested when he was alive. Rumor has it a few other family members should be jailed. sad story

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