Prosecution Closes Penalty Case in Child Abuse Murder

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.

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