A Southern California mother has been sentenced to life in prison and her boyfriend was sentenced to death in the killing of an 8-year-old boy who prosecutors say was punished because the couple believed he was gay.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli sentenced the couple on Thursday, calling the 2013 death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez “beyond animalistic.”
Related:37-year-old California man, Isauro Aguirre, guilty of murder in torture death of girlfriend’s 8-year-old son – Faces death penalty
Gabriel Fernandez [photo], was tortured to death by his mother and her boyfriend, because at 6 , they felt he was gay
Pearl Sinthia Fernandez and her boyfriend both have been convicted on first-degree murder charge, in the death of her son Gabriel
Isauro Aguirre was the first person to be convicted in the death of and his partner’s son Gabriel Fernandez. He was sentenced to death
Gabriel’s mother, 34-year-old Pearl Fernandez, pleaded guilty to murder in the death of her son in February. A jury found her boyfriend, 37-year-old Isauro Aguirre, guilty of murder last year and found that he intentionally tortured the boy.
Gabriel’s injuries included a fractured skull, broken ribs and burns across his body.
Prosecutors also have filed charges of child abuse and falsifying records against four county social workers in Gabriel’s death.
The California mom pleaded guilty to torturing to death her 8-year-old son because she thought he was gay.
The Los Angeles reports that Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, 34, agreed to a plea deal Thursday for first-degree murder in the 2013 death of her son Gabriel Fernandez.
Related:Sheriff’s deputies ignored abuse of 8-year-old LA boy, who was ‘burned, shot and beaten by his mom over eight months before she finally killed him’ – but they won’t be sanctioned
The Palmdale mom also confessed to a special circumstance allegation of murder involving torture.
Prosecutors alleged that Fernandez routinely beat, starved and tortured the child with the intention of killing him.
The 8-year-old boy died in May 2013 after he was discovered unconscious with a cracked skull, broken ribs, missing teeth and BB pellets in his groin, according to the Los Angeles Times.