Nurse, welfare security officer testify in penalty phase of man convicted of killing Palmdale boy

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Two more people testified Wednesday in the penalty phase of a man convicted of torturing and murdering his girlfriend's 8-year-old son, Gabriel Fernandez.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Isauro Aguirre for the murder of the Palmdale boy.

Multiple people, including Gabriel's biological father, testified during the phase. The first person on Wednesday was Arturo Martinez Maranda, a security officer working for a welfare office in Palmdale.

He said the boy's mother, Pearl Fernandez, went to the office with Gabriel and her other two children shortly before the young boy's death in 2013.

He described seeing Gabriel's injuries and calling 911 to report it. He went on to say that he found out about Gabriel's death when he arrived at work and the clerk who had helped Pearl told him about it.

The second witness was Alison Segal, a nurse at the Antelope Valley Hospital. She said she was taken aback by Gabriel's severe injuries all over his body when he was brought to the hospital on May 22, 2013.

"I will never forget that case," she said.

During the murder trial, she had described the wounds - old and new - that she found on his tiny, cold body. Those injuries included a skull fracture, BBs lodged under his skin, missing teeth, bruises, burns and cuts.

Pearl Fernandez, who is also accused of torturing and murdering her son, will have a separate trial at a later date.

The penalty phase witness statements were set to continue Thursday morning.
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