Court Hearing Delayed in Gabriel Fernandez Torture Slaying Case

A former couple is accused of torturing and killing 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez who died in May 2013

A pretrial hearing for a Palmdale couple charged in the fatal beating of the woman's 8-year-old son, Gabriel Fernandez, was delayed until Feb. 11.

Pearl Sinthia Fernandez and her former boyfriend Isauro Aguirre are accused of torturing and abusing Gabriel for months before his death in May 2013 while under the supervision of the Los Angeles County child welfare system.

Aguirre had to be escorted out of the courtroom on Wednesday after Fernandez spoke out, asking him, "Why you got to go and talk about that you didn't go and kill my baby?"

In October, both defendants had agreed to take a plea deal of life in prison without parole. But Aguirre backed out of the agreement.

The delay frustrated Gabriel's supporters, many of whom have been to every court hearing.

"They're playing their game," said Emily Carranza, a cousin of Gabriel. "They're stringing everybody along.

Of Gabriel, she said, "He misses Christmas. He can't celebrate his birthdays."

Supporters brought Christmas ornaments with pictures of Gabriel in better days. They served as a reminder for Amanda Nevarez who created the Gabriel's Justice Facebook page.

She says she has seen other pictures of Gabriel with injuries and bruises.

"It just reminds me to keep fighting," Nevarez said. "It just reminds me that something is still not right with the system."

Gabriel's death has led to several firings at the Department of Children and Family Services and an investigation by a blue ribbon commission that has led to a new Office of Child Protection.

This office would oversee all departments who work with children in the welfare system.

The LA County Board of Supervisors is interviewing candidates to head that office.

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