Yesterday in court, the criminals responsible for the torturing and eventually murdering 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez received their sentencing. Pearl Fernandez, the boy's mother, and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre of Palmdale, CA, were found guilty in relation to their heinous crimes. Gabriel had been repeatedly beaten, starved, tied up, locked in a closet, had his teeth knocked out with a bat and shot with a BB gun. 

Judge George Lomeli told the couple that "it goes without saying that the conduct was horrendous and inhumane and nothing short of evil. It's beyond animalistic because animals know how to take care of their young."

Fernandez called 9-1-1 in May of 2013 to report that her son was not breathing, telling deputies that he had fallen and hit his head off of a dresser. Two days later, Gabriel died of blunt-force trauma and neglect, according to the coroner's office. 

Gabriel's siblings testified that Fernandez and Aguirre would mock the 8-year-old for appearing to be gay, punishing him if he played with dolls while also forcing him to wear girls' clothing to school, leading the jury to believe this was a hate crime. The boy's first-grade teacher, Jennifer Garcia, tearfully addressed the court just days before the sentencing was handed out, noting how she finds comfort "believing he is now at peace. And I know that unlike him, his abusers will never have peace. They will have a lifetime of suffering to endure, and I know I'm not alone in hoping they experience the same abuse in their lifetime and worse."

As a result, Fernandez was sentenced to life in prison for her crimes, with Aguirre receiving the death penalty.