An uncle has testified as the final prosecution witness in the penalty phase of the first murder trial stemming from the child abuse death of an 8-year-old boy in Palmdale.
Defense lawyers began to call so-called mitigation witnesses mid-day Friday as they tried to convince jurors to recommend a sentence of life in prison without parole for Isauro Aguirre.
Aguirre was convicted in November of first degree murder with special circumstances for the torture-killing of Gabriel Fernandez.
Prosecutors have urged jurors to recommend a death sentence for Aguirre, who witnesses said inflicted months of horrifying physical abuse on Fernandez before a final beating in May, 2013.
Aguirre was Fernandez's mother's boyfriend. The mother, Pearl Fernandez, will be tried separately on identical murder charges.