Jurors in Downtown Los Angeles heard opening statements Monday morning in the first of two trials stemming from the murder of an 8-year-old boy in Palmdale, who prosecutors said was abused and tortured for months before his death in 2013.
Isauro Aguirre is being tried first on a capital murder charge that could lead to a death sentence.
He was the boyfriend of the boy’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, who will be tried separately on the same charges.
Gabriel Fernandez was killed on May 22, 2013.
The firefighters called to the couple’s apartment that day were the first prosecution witnesses.
“It was just unbelievable, the amount of trauma on his body,” said Los Angeles County Firefighter-Paramedic James Cermak.
He said the boy had no pulse and was not breathing, and said as he and his partner began to try to resuscitate the boy, they discovered more and more signs of abuse.
“Abrasions everywhere, strangulation marks on his neck, his ankles were swollen, his left palm looked like it was burned, bruises head to toe, skull fractures, little holes - like he’d been shot with a BB gun,” Cermak told jurors.
Aguirre’s murder trial is expected to last more than six weeks.
Prosecutors have also charged separately four former social workers who were responsible for managing and investigating numerous reports of the boy’s abuse.
They’re set to appear in court later this week for a pretrial hearing on child abuse and records falsification charges.