The siblings of an 8-year-old boy revealed in court, on Wednesday, the tremendous abuse endured by their younger brother leading up to his death.
Gabriel Fernandez was 8-years-old when he died, back in May 2013, after suffering intense beatings and isolation from his mother and her boyfriend, Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre. Fernandez's siblings said in court how he was frequently beaten, forced to sleep in a box, and shot with bb guns, especially by Aguirre.
According to NBC Chicago, Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami told the jury during his opening statement, Monday, that the young boy was tortured because Aguirre believed he was gay. Fernandez's siblings said in court that their guardians would often make Fernandez go to school in girl clothes and that he got badly beaten the one time he got caught bringing a change of his own clothes. Fernandez's death also started investigations that resulted in "criminal charges of child abuse and falsifying public records against two former county social workers and two of their supervisors, who are due back in court Friday for a pretrial hearing."
Fernandez's 16-year-old brother said in court that his mother would cover wounds with makeup or ask him and his sister to lie to social workers and tell them that the 8-year-old's injuries were from the brothers playing around.
The siblings replied "yes" to several questions asked by Hatami revealing that their brother was kept tied up in a small box for months, was forced to eat cat litter and poop, was beaten with a bat, metal hanger or belt buckle, and was forced to eat rotten spinach and his own throw up after he couldn't hold it down. The young boy's sister also said that she didn't know why her guardians only targeted Gabriel.
The night of the fatal accident Fernandez, 34, and Aguirre tried to wake Gabriel up in the shower after he fell unconscious from a fatal blow to the head. They called the Los Angeles sheriff's department when he stopped breathing.
According to Daily Mail, nurses at the hospital said that this was some of the worst abuse they've ever seen. Fernandez was taken off of life support two days after his admittance to the hospital.
Nine different sheriff's deputies investigated the case but none made any arrests before his death.
The couple both pled not guilty and will be tried separately, however, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the both of them. These testimonies were received on the third day of Aguirre's, 37, trial who will also be facing a special charge of "allegation of murder involving the infliction of torture."
Witnesses in the courtroom say that Fernandez's mother seemed "disinterested" when being questioned earlier this week.