A woman and her boyfriend who tortured and murdered her 8-year-old son because they thought he was gay have been spared the death penalty thanks to a plea deal.
Pearl Fernandez, who over an eight-month period assaulted Gabriel Hernandez with pepper spray, forced him to eat vomit, denied him use of the bathroom, beat him with a belt buckle and a metal bat, and shot him with a BB gun (among other unimaginable horrors) because he liked to play with dolls, initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, along with her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre.
But according to reports, in exchange for changing their plea to guilty of first degree murder and torture, the pair will spend life in prison without parole. They have also waived their right to an appeal.
Contributors to a Facebook page called Gabriel’s Justice are calling the development “a great thing,” citing the fact that California has not executed a prisoner in almost a decade and that a death-penalty trial would likely drag on for several years, providing “no closure for anyone.”
If there’s any justice for 8-year-old Gabriel, it’s that the plea will keep the killers out of solitary confinement and put them in the general prison population, where child abusers are said to be the most hated. And tortured.