(SL) – There’s a special place in hell for these two. His name was Gabriel Fernandez and the system 100 percent failed him.
The Daily Mail Reports, An eight-year-old boy, who was ‘tortured to death by his mother and stepfather had BB pellets lodged in his groin and lungs, a cracked skull, two missing teeth, burns to his body and three broken ribs’ when he died, according to a nurse.
Registered Nurse Alison Segal witnessed the moment Gabriel Fernandez was rushed into the Antelope Valley Hospital on May 22, 2013, after he was found unresponsive at his mother’s home in Palmdale.
Segal revealed the child’s horrific injuries in her testimony on Friday. Gabriel died in 2013 after allegedly suffering eight months of abuse at the hands of his mother Pearl Fernandez, 31, and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre, 37, at their Los Angeles home.
Segal said that night she was required to provide service to the hospital for patients who had been victims of abuse, according to ABC 7.
‘There were abrasions. There were open wounds. There was bruising. There was swelling. There was marks on the legs. There was skin missing off the top of the neck, so there were multiple injuries on Gabriel…head to toe,’ she said
In court, the emotional nurse testified that she was asked to assess Gabriel when he was brought into the hospital, but his condition was so critical she could not do a comprehensive assessment. He was later rushed to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
She said Gabriel’s chart that night said the child had fallen in the shower, but Segal said she knew that wasn’t the case.
Segal said Gabriel was on a ventilator and his heart had stopped at least twice.
‘They had to resuscitate him with extreme measures,’ she said, according to ABC. Segal said Gabriel was only 88 degrees, which is a low temperature for a child.
On Wednesdsay, the child’s siblings told the court how the pair singled him out and subjected him to sickening abuse because they thought he was gay.
Prosecutors said Fernandez and Aguirre put cigarettes out on his skin, beat him with a bat and shot at him with a BB gun.
His teenage brother and sister wept as they testified against the pair in court.
While they admit torturing the boy, Aguirre denies murder because he claims his death was unintentional.
Fernandez’s trial will begin after her boyfriend’s concludes.
Gabriel’s siblings told how their mother’s boyfriend singled him out for beatings and made him sleep in a cabinet they referred to as a ‘box’, according to NBC which attended the trial in California.
Whenever social services visited, they would lock the child away and handcuff him so they would not see his injuries, Gabriel’s siblings said.
The family had been reported to authorities several times by concerned acquaintances who were worried for Gabriel’s welfare but the case was overlooked.
It wasn’t until May 2013, when Aguirre delivered a fatal blow which made Gabriel brain dead, that they realized how severe the case was.
Ezequiel C, Gabriel’s 16-year-old brother, told how Aguirre put a sock over his brother’s mouth on occasion and sometimes used a bandanna to silence him.
He also said Aguirre kicked Gabriel in the face, stomach and groin and that he used a wooden hanger to beat him sometimes.
When his injuries were visible, he says the pair told him to lie and say Gabriel suffered them when they were playing.
The couple also used to taunt Gabriel by calling him gay and would force him to wear girl’s clothes to school, he said. Prosecutors said early on that this was Aguirre’s motivation for bullying the child.
Gabriel’s brother said he used to take a change of clothes in his backpack and change at school. Once, when his mother found out, she punched him in the face, he said. In addition to beatings, they tortured the boy by forcing him to eat spoiled food.
His brother described how they once made him eat rotten spinach and even made him eat his own vomit when he threw up onto the table afterwards.
They also forced him to eat cat litter and cat feces. The boy’s 14-year-old sister, named only as Virginia, also testified on Wednesday.
She fought back tears as she told how they only ever picked on Gabriel and left her and her brother alone.
On May 22, 2013, the night of Gabriel’s death, she said she watched as Aguirre punched him repeatedly in the head.
When he fell to the ground after the fatal blow, Aguirre and the boy’s mother panicked, she said.
They placed him in the shower and slapped him continuously to try to revive him but were unsuccessful and eventually called 911. When paramedics arrived, they claimed he had been playing with his brother in the cabinet, where they made him sleep, when he hit his head.
Paramedics who responded to the 911 call said the abuse Gabriel suffered was unspeakable. Nurses and doctors at the hospital said it was some of the worst they had ever seen. Gabriel was placed on life support after being declared brain dead at the hospital. His life support was turned off after several days.
Aguirre does not deny torturing the boy or being responsible for his death. He has however pleaded not guilty to murder and a special circumstance allegation of murder involving the infliction of torture because he says he did not mean for Gabriel to die.
Gabriel’s death shocked the nation in 2013 and triggered a string of internal investigations within Child Protective Services. Nine different sheriff’s deputies investigated the case but none made any arrests before his death.
Four different case workers who missed the signs that he was being so egregiously abused are also facing charges.