Palmdale Man Guilty of Child’s Torture Murder

A jury in Downtown L.A. spent less than seven hours deliberating before finding a man from Palmdale guilty Wednesday of the child abuse murder of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez.

Jurors convicted Isauro Aguirre, 37, of first degree murder and also found true the special allegation of torture, which makes Aguirre eligible for the death penalty.

The judge scheduled the penalty phase of the trial to begin November 27.

Aguirre was accused of physically abusing Fernandez for at least eight months before the boy’s beating death in May, 2013.

During closing argument Monday L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami told jurors Aguirre was, “evil,” and said Aguirre hated Fernandez because Aguirre suspected the boy was gay.

Hatami told jurors the horror of the abuse and murder was made even worse by a handwritten notes found in the boy’s school desk.

“I love you mom and Gabriel is a good boy,” Hatami said Fernandez wrote in one message found after the death.

“It shows you, ladies and gentlemen, that Gabriel blamed himself,” Hatami said.

The defense tried to convince jurors that the murder was spontaneous, rather than premeditated, and urged a guilty verdict on the lesser charge of second degree murder.

Jurors spent less than five hours deliberating Tuesday, then returned Wednesday morning and signaled they’d reached a verdict.CHECK TIME HERE

The boy’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, will be tried separately.

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