Editor’s observe: Be suggested that this story incorporates descriptions of kid abuse.
Netflix’s new true-crime docuseries The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez follows the heartbreaking and violent loss of life of eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez. On the head of the case is none apart from Gabriel’s mom, Pearl Fernandez, who, along with her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre, abused and ultimately murdered Gabriel in 2013 in Palmdale, Los Angeles. This is the story of how Pearl got here out and in of Gabriel’s life, and the place she is at the moment.
Gabriel had not at all times been dwelling with Pearl. At first of his tragically brief life, he lived together with his great-uncle after which his grandparents till she determined to take him sooner or later, about eight months earlier than his loss of life on Could 24, 2013. Family and investigators consider that she probably took him for welfare cash. Months after enduring abuse below his guardians, Gabriel died shortly after Pearl and Aguirre referred to as 9-1-1 following one brutal encounter. Within the ICU, Gabriel was handled for a cracked cranium, damaged ribs, and mind injury in addition to cuts, bruises, burns, and BB gunshot wounds throughout his physique. He was pulled off of life help two days later.
Whereas frantically engaged on this case, medical care professionals knew that Pearl was mendacity when she mentioned he slipped within the bathtub. It wasn’t the primary time that she and Aguirre had abused Gabriel and lied about it. Regardless of Gabriel’s in depth historical past of reported abuse, the Division of Youngsters and Household Providers and on-duty sheriffs had not finished something about his case, together with medical follow-ups of probably abuse conditions. 4 social employees on his case had been prosecuted on expenses of kid abuse and falsifying information, however an appellate panel lately dominated that they may not face expenses.
In 2018, the couple confronted their sentences. Aguirre was responsible of first-degree homicide with a particular circumstance of intentional homicide by torture, placed on loss of life row at San Quentin State Jail. Pearl pleaded responsible to first-degree homicide, taking a deal that will put her in jail with out the potential for parole, however not going through the loss of life sentence as Aguirre did. Her surviving youngsters, then dwelling in one other state with a relative, requested prosecutor Jon Hatami to simply accept the plea, as they did not need to testify in opposition to her.
Pearl’s legal professional additionally argued that the loss of life penalty wasn’t acceptable due to her low IQ. A neurocognitive analysis by a scientific psychologist confirmed that Pearl had restricted mental capability along with beforehand being identified with circumstances comparable to a depressive dysfunction, consuming dysfunction, developmental incapacity, doable PTSD, and doable persona dysfunction. Pearl additionally grew up in an abusive family and skilled gang rape as a toddler, ultimately operating away from house and utilizing medication at an early age. Within the collection, Wendy Smith, a distinguished scholar at USC’s College of Social Work, surmised that Pearl, herself a sufferer, didn’t see Gabriel as somebody to be protected however seen him as a substitute as a reminder of that a part of her that wasn’t protected, which may have enraged her.
Pearl is at present serving her life sentence on the Chowchilla State Girls’s Jail in Central California.