PALMDALE – After more than a year of delays, the case against the Palmdale couple charged with torturing and killing 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez finally appears to be moving forward. Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre pleaded not guilty today [August 6] to murder with the special circumstance of torture. Additionally, the case has moved from the Antelope Valley courthouse to the Foltz Criminal Justice Center, according to a press release from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. Read it below:
A criminal Grand Jury has indicted a Palmdale mother and her boyfriend with one count of capital murder in the fatal 2013 beating of the woman’s 8-year-old son, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, 30, and Isauro Aguirre, 34, pleaded not guilty today [Aug. 6] to one count each of murder with the special circumstance of torture of Gabriel Fernandez. Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen ordered the pair held without bail.
Both defendants return to court on Aug. 14 for pretrial in Department 107 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Prosecutors argued the case should return to the Antelope Valley for trial, but their motion was denied.
Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami, who is prosecuting the case, said prosecutors took the case to the Grand Jury in July to avoid continued delays in setting a preliminary hearing date. The indictment was returned July 28.
On May 22, 2013, Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel responded to a call about a boy not breathing in the 200 block of East Avenue Q-10. He was declared dead on May 24, 2013.
Hatami said Fernandez and Aguirre inflicted multiple injuries upon the child, including fracturing his skull, breaking several ribs and burning him over his body.
The special circumstance murder makes this a potential death penalty case. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek a death sentence or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau is investigating the case.
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