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Gabriel Fernandez’s mother gets life, boyfriend sentenced to death

Judge calls 8-year old’s torture/murder ‘’horrendous, inhumane and nothing short of evil’ 

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It’s been five years that Pearl Sinthia Fernandez called 911 to the Palmdale home that she shared with her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre. Her 8-year old son Gabriel son was not breathing; he had fallen and hit his head on a dresser, she told sheriff’s deputies. 

When paramedics arrived that May 22, 2013, they found Gabriel unconsciousness, naked and not breathing in a bedroom. His skull was cracked, ribs broken, skin burned, with missing teeth and BB pellets embedded in his lungs and groin, according to testimony later reported in the Los Angeles Times. Gabriel died two days later after being removed from life support.

In more than 800 pages of sworn grand jury testimony made public in August 2014, the extent of Gabriel’s tortured life was revealed, including the suspicion that he was abused because Aguirre thought the child was gay.

“It was just like every inch of this child had been abused,” LA County Fire Department paramedic James Cermak testified. 

“For eight straight months, he was abused, beaten and tortured more severely than many prisoners of war,” Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami told the grand jury. The couple not only tortured the boy to death but they tried to hide their abuse with forged doctor’s notes and lies to authorities, he added. 

On Nov. 15, 2017, Aguirre, 37, was convicted of first-degree murder for fatally torturing and murdering Gabriel. During the penalty phase of his trial, Hatami told jurors that for months before the murder, Aguirre “reveled in his brutalization, forcing Gabriel to eat cat feces and his own vomit. The boy slept in a small cabinet, the prosecutor said, with his ankles handcuffed, his hands bound and his mouth gagged with a sock,” The Times reported
 
“No human with a heart and soul could do that to an innocent little boy,” Hatami said. Jurors deliberated for seven hours over three days before recommending the death penalty that December.
Fernandez pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in February—a plea that included admitting that Gabriel was tortured and his murder was intentional. Her plea also enabled her to avoid the death penalty, which her defense argued would not be appropriate because of her very low IQ and her history of being a victim of abuse and torture herself.  Apparently, Fernandez was taking a massive amount of opioid drugs, including OxyContin and Norco.
On Thursday, after Deputy Public Defender Michael Sklar argued that Aguirre’s death sentence was “grossly disproportionate” with his culpability, Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli— who sentenced Gabriel’s mother, 34, to life in prison without parole and her boyfriend, 37, to death—could not contain his disgust. 
It was the worst case of abuse he’d seen in nearly 20 years on the bench, Lomeli said, abuse that was“horrendous, inhumane and nothing short of evil.”
“I hope you think about the pain you caused this child and that it tortures you,” Lomeli said. “I rarely say that.”
Lomeli cited evidence, such as bashing Gabriel’s teeth out with a bat and shooting BB pellets at him, The Times reported, saying that some might call the abuse “animalistic.” Except that animals don’t do that to their own family.
The torture and murder of Gabriel Fernandez shocked the conscience of the country. In LA County, which has had serious problems with their Department of Children and Family Services, supervisors appointed a child protection czar, initiated a number of child welfare reforms and the DA brought criminal charges against County social workers who visited the home repeatedly and knew of at least six reports of abuse yet failed to removed Gabriel from a clearly dangerous home situation.   
 
It is unclear whether Aguirre will ever actually be put to death for torturing and murder his 8 year old ward. As of Aug. 2017, 747 inmates are on death row, The Times reports. Only 13 men have been executed since 1978.
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Los Angeles

LAPD: Body found on fire hanging in tree in Griffith Park likely a suicide

The person’s age, identity and gender have not yet been determined, but they are believed to be a person who frequents the park

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Screenshot/YouTube KABC ABC 7 LA

LOS ANGELES – The body of an unidentified person deceased found hanging from a tree near the Griffith Park’s merry go round was likely a suicide a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department said Tuesday.

The body was discovered at around 12:30 p.m. on fire and hanging from a tree. Los Angeles City firefighters put the flames out and LAPD detectives investigated and found no signs of foul play, determining that most likely the cause of death was suicide.

“It appears to be self-immolation,” said LAPD detective Michael Ventura. “This is going to be somebody who brought some gasoline, brought some lighters. We have had, they are rare, but we do have cases where people will self-immolate. Or they choose to set themselves on fire.”

The person’s age, identity and gender have not yet been determined, but they are believed to be a person who frequents the park on a regular basis Ventura said.

Independent freelance journalist Vishal P. Singh, who was on scene tweeted about the incident:

KABC reported:

Editor’s note: If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health matters, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or dial 988

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Los Angeles

LAPD respond after protestors disrupt LA City Council vote on homeless

All of City Council left except for Councilmembers Raman, Harris-Dawson, & Bonin who have previously voted against the expansion of 41.18

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Jonny Peltz/Twitter

LOS ANGELES – After protestors angrily voiced opposition and one charged towards the council dais disrupting the LA City Council’s impending vote Tuesday on a mass expansion of 41.18 zones, which will prohibit encampments of unhoused persons near schools and daycare centers, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Riot Squad was called-in.

The meeting erupted into chaos after a member of the public who was speaking climbed over a bench and charged toward Council President Nury Martinez. Police quickly filled the council floor to apprehend the person and another member of the public. Activists screamed at police, and at least one audience member attempted to spray water on officers.

Martinez abruptly recessed the meeting as dozens of activists in the room chanted “Abolish 41.18!” – a reference to the city law prohibiting homeless encampments at libraries, freeway overpasses and other locations.

Jonny Peltz, a freelance reporter for Knock LA, a nonprofit community journalism project, live tweeted the proceedings.

KTLA reported the Council voted to ban homeless encampments within 500 feet of city schools and day care centers after protesters again rallied against the expanded motion.

The final vote on the motion 11-3 in favor of the widespread ban.

Before the updated motion passed, camps were banned within 500 feet of facilities deemed sensitive, such as schools, day care facilities, parks and libraries but only if those areas have been designated for enforcement.

Tuesday’s vote means a blanket ban on encampments within 500 feet of every private school and day care centers in the city.

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California

Placer County Sheriff’s Office: Public’s help in locating missing girl needed

Anyone with information about Kiely’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Placer County Sheriff’s Office at 530-886-5375

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Kiely Rodni (Family photo/Placer County Sheriff's Office)

TRUCKEE, Ca. – Investigators with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 16-year-old Kiely Rodni who disappeared in Northern California early Saturday morning. PCSD detectives say she may be the victim of an abduction.

Rodni was last seen around 12:30 a.m. Saturday near the Prosser Family Campground in the town of Truckee, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.

Kiely is described as 5’7 with blonde hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing green Dickies pants, a black tank top and jewelry. The teen also has numerous piercings, including a nose ring.

She had attended a party with more than 100 young adults. Authorities said that her phone has been out of service since the party and that her car, a silver Honda CRV model year 2013 with California license plate “8YUR127” is also missing.

Anyone with information about Kiely’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Placer County Sheriff’s Office at 530-886-5375.

From KTLA sister station KTXL Sacramento:

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