A woman and her boyfriend are expected to be sentenced Thursday for the torture and murder of an 8-year-old boy whose killing in 2013 provoked public outrage, prompted sweeping reform of Los Angeles County’s child welfare system, and led to unprecedented criminal charges against social workers who handled the child’s case.
Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, 34, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole for her role in the death of her son, Gabriel. A jury decided last year that her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, 37, should be executed.
When paramedics arrived at the boy’s Palmdale home in May 2013, Gabriel had slipped out of consciousness. He had a fractured skull, broken ribs, burned skin, missing teeth and BB pellets embedded in his groin. A paramedic would later testify that every inch of the boy’s small body had been abused.