What Happened To Isauro Aguirre? An Update On What's Happened To Pearl Fernandez's Fiancé Since The Gabriel Fernandez Documentary

Did he get the death penalty?

What Happened To Isauro Aguirre? An Update On What's Happened To Pearl Fernandez's Fiancé Since The Gabriel Fernandez Documentary getty

In 2013, medical responders arrived at an apartment in Los Angeles after a 911 call about a child who wasn't breathing. When they arrived, they found 8-year old Gabriel Fernandez unresponsive. They also saw that he had been beaten to the point that there was blood spatter all over the residence.

RELATED: Awful Details Revealed About The Murder Of 8-Year-Old Gabriel Fernandez Allegedly Abused Because His Mom And Her Boyfriend Thought He Was Gay


Paramedics rushed the boy to a hospital where they managed to get his heart beating again. But they discovered he was brain dead and two days later he died after being taken off life support. In the process of caring for him, doctors found he had a shattered skull, multiple broken ribs, and evidence of systematic abuse that had been going on for a long time.

His abusers were his mother, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre. Netflix has recently released e a documentary called The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez about the investigation into his death, one that involved not only his parents but ended in the indictment of four social workers who allegedly failed to protect him from horrific abuse and eventual death. 


What happened to Isauro Aguirre and where is he now? Read on for the shocking details.  

1. Agguire wasn't Gabriels' father.

As we learn in the documentary, Gabriel's biological father was Arnold Contreras, who also fathered Pearl Fernandez's two older children. Contreras and the rest of Fernandez's family admitted she didn't want another baby when she got pregnant with Gabriel. She only agreed to have the baby after her uncle Michael Lemos Carranza and his partner David Martinez offered to raise him.

Fernandez reportedly left the hospital without the baby after Gabriel was born and when she called Martinez and Carranza, she said "Come and get your kid, he's getting on my nerves already.” Gabriel stayed with the two men for the first half of his life. Eventually, the little boy's grandparents Robert and Sandra Fernandez wanted to raise him because they objected to Martinez and Carranza's sexuality. “[Robert] said that two gay guys shouldn’t be raising a kid,” Martinez said. They reportedly thought he was becoming gay just from being around the two men. His grandparents took him in and he lived with them until he was 7 years old. 

2. Gabriel returned to live with his mother and her then-boyfriend Aguirre in 2012. 

When Gabriel was 7, his mother decided she and Aguuire wanted him to come live with them. The couple had been together for about a year and a half at this time.  His grandparents agreed to send the boy to live with his mother for the first time in his life. But her motives were less maternal than monetary: she allegedly wanted the higher welfare payment and not the responsibility of raising her son. 


3. Aguirre was a security guard at the time.

At the time of the murder, Aguirre worked for AVL Private Security, a job that had him doing security for a local grocery store, At over 6 feet tall and 270lbs, the towering man was a natural for security work. 

Netflix has made a documentary about the case. 

4. He also worked as an aide at a nursing home.

Surprisingly, considering the abuse he would commit in his personal life, Aguirre had previously worked at Woodland Park Retirement Hotel as a caregiver and driver. He did hands-on care work for residents, who liked him by, all accounts. "The residents always wanted him to take care of them. I mean, he was like a teddy bear, the residents adored him,” his boss Susan Weisbarth said. “So did the staff.”


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5. But behind closed doors, he was torturing his girlfriend's son.

Though all three of Fernandez's children lived with the couple, they singled out Gabriel for abuse. The couple beat him, shot him with BB guns, burned him with cigarette butts, locked him in a cabinet and forced him to eat cat litter. At the time of his death, LA authorities said that Aguirre was beating the boy because he thought he was gay. Aguirre even told first responders that the child was gay when they were trying to save his life on the night of his fatal beating. 

The night of his death, medical staff discovered that in addition to old injuries like burns, he also had twelve broken ribs and a skull fracture. The couple said they beat him because he had asked his mother to end her relationship with Aguirre. He hoped that if they split up, Aguirre would stop beating Gabriel. 

6. Aguirre claimed he didn't mean to kill the boy.

Aguirre and Pearl Fernandez were both indicted for first-degree murder and torture with the intent to murder. When he went to trial, Aguirre admitted to abusing Gabriel. But his entire defense rested on the notion that he didn't mean to kill the child. He was convicted regardless of and sentenced to death. Fernandez pled guilty in exchange for a sentence of life without parole. 


7. What happened to Isauro Aguirre and where is he now?

After he was convicted in 2018, he was transferred to San Quentin Prison in California. He is on death row but there's no execution date set. California hasn't executed anyone since 2006 while the state dealt with whether or not lethal injections violate the principle of cruel and unusual punishment prohibitions.

When the couple was sentenced, Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli said their "conduct was horrendous, inhumane and nothing short of evil. You want to say that the conduct was animalistic, but that would be wrong because even animals know how to take care of their young, some to the extent that they would sacrifice their own lives in caring for their young."

"I can only wish ... that in the middle of the night you wake up, and you think of the injuries that you subjected on this poor young man, this poor 7-year-old, and that it tortures you," Lomeli concluded.


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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.