The shocking case of an 8-year-old boy murdered by his mother and her boyfriend because they thought he was gay has become even more disturbing. Gabriel Fernandez’ older brother and sister took the stand yesterday and documented some of the horrors inflicted upon him.
Gabriel’s brother, Ezequiel, who is 16 now, and his sister, Virgina, 14, both testified against their mother’s boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre. The children, who were 12 and 11 respectively at the time of the murder, recounted horrific stories of abuse that left the courtroom – including the jury – in tears.
The teenagers told jurors that Fernandez was forced to eat cat feces and kitty litter, spoiled food, and when he got sick from eating it, his own vomit. He was also bound and forced into a box for extended periods, pepper sprayed, and beaten daily.
Aguirre would shoot Fernandez with a BB gun in the face and groin, beat him with wire hangers and a belt buckle, pin him against the wall by the neck until he passed out, and once hit the child so hard it left an indentation of his head in the wall, according to Ezequiel.
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“My mom and her boyfriend made Gabriel eat spoiled stuff or expired stuff. One thing I remember is expired spinach. He threw it up, and they made him eat it off the table,” he told the court according to WLS-TV.
When the prosecutor asked “Did the defendant make Gabriel eat throw up?”, Ezequiel nodded and simply said, “Yes.”
Ezequiel testified that on the day his brother was killed he watched his mother and Aguirre beat the child bloody and drag him into their bedroom before closing the door. He heard bangs and screams and then everything went quiet, he said.
Later in the afternoon, Virgina took the stand. With sniffles and sobs audible in the courtroom, her testimony only proved as dramatic and awful as her brother’s. She described seeing Fernandez choked and beaten with wire hangers, a baseball bat, and belt buckle. She also said her mother and Aguirre would force the boy to wear pink leggings and a pink shirt to school.
When the prosecutor asked her how Fernandez lost his two front teeth, she responded, “My mother had punched him.”
But when she described the night her brother was killed, the proceedings became even darker.
“I was sitting on the edge of the bed. And my mother’s boyfriend was punching him,” she told the jury as she cried.
“He knocked the air out of him, and he fell over, and he didn’t get back up. So they picked him up. They threw him in the shower. And they kept yelling at him to wake up. And when he didn’t wake up, my mother decided to call the police. And she told me to grab a rag and we cleaned most of the blood that was on the floor.”
The judge had to call a recess because so many people in the room – including jury members – were sobbing uncontrollably.