Palmdale abuse case: Mother of slain 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez pleads guilty

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Friday, February 16, 2018
Palmdale abuse case: Slain boy's mother pleads guilty
Pearl Fernandez has pleaded guilty to killing her son, 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, in 2013.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Palmdale woman, accused of torturing and murdering her 8-year-old son, entered a guilty plea in exchange for life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Pearl Fernandez admitted in court Thursday to willfully killing her son Gabriel Fernandez back in 2013. She also waved all of her rights to appeal the case or anything related to it.

MORE: Doctor describes injuries to Gabriel Fernandez's body

A physician who performed a brain examination on Gabriel Fernandez, a Palmdale boy who prosecutors said was murdered by his mother and her boyfriend, testified in court Thursday.

During the hearing, Pearl Fernandez was wearing a vest to keep her from harming herself.

Defense attorneys had claimed that Pearl Fernandez's IQ is so low that the death penalty should not be considered in her case. However, prosecutors maintained she was smart enough to scam child services officials.

Pearl Fernandez' boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, has already been convicted, A jury recommended he be sentenced to death.

Sentencing for Pearl Fernandez is scheduled for June 7.

Still pending is a trial for four social workers who are accused of failing to take action to protect Gabriel.

MORE: Lancaster considers 'Gabriel's Law' in hopes of preventing another child's death

The heartbreaking death of Palmdale boy Gabriel Fernandez has leaders in one Southern California community looking for ways to better protect children like Gabriel.