The jurors who convicted a man of the torture-murder of an 8-year-old boy in Paldmale have begun to consider whether to recommend the death penalty.
“The only just and appropriate penalty that this defendant should receive is nothing less than death,” L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Scott Yang said during an opening statement in the penalty phase of Isauro Aguirre’s trial Monday morning in Downtown L.A.
The jurors found Aguirre guilty earlier this month of first degree murder with the special circumstance of torture in the killing of Gabriel Fernandez.
“Gabriel was taken from the only parents that he knew, and for eight months, he was abused, he was beaten, and he was tortured,” Yang said.
At the conclusion of the penalty phase the jurors may recommend an execution or life in prison without parole.
Aguirre’s defense asked the jurors to opt for prison.
“We’ll be asking you to punish Mr. Aguirre severely,” said defense attorney Michael Sklar.
“We’ll be asking you to sentence Mr. Aguirre to spend the rest of his life in prison, waking up every morning in a prison cell, thinking about the horrific acts he committed,” Sklar said.
The penalty phase will include testimony from Fernandez’s biological father, other family members, and witnesses who the prosecutor said will describe the severity of the crime and its effect on the family.
Fernandez was physically abused for months before he was beaten to death in May, 2013. His mother, Pearl Fernandez, will be tried separately on the same murder charge.
(Photo: Gabriel Fernandez in photo provided by family)