Former Cellmate Of Gabriel Fernandez’s Mom Reveals What Prisoners Did To Her After She Beat Her Son To Death

They wanted to punish her.

Pearl Fernandez, Gabriel Fernandez Netflix

A former cellmate of Gabriel Fernandez’s mother is revealing what happened to Pearl Fernandez after she was sent to prison for his murder.

On May 24, 2013, 8-year-old Gabriel was killed following months of abuse and torture at the hand of his mother Pearl Fernandez and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre.

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Gabriel’s murder was explored in Netflix’s 2020 docuseries, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez,” which documented the harrowing case and sentencing of Pearl and Aguirre.

Where is Pearl Fernandez now?

Pearl is serving time at Central California Women's Facility after being sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.


In 2018, she pled guilty to first-degree murder and murder involving torture. Her plea deal meant she evaded the death penalty.

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In 2021, a judge rejected the now-39-year-old’s bid for re-sentencing.

A woman who was incarcerated at the same jail as Pearl Fernandez says she was assaulted in prison.

A woman named Yvette Garcia, who claims to have been serving time at Central California Women's Facility when Pearl was sentenced, shared details of the alleged assault on TikTok.

Garcia says that her fellow inmates were aware of Pearl’s crimes and had planned to “get her” once she arrived at the prison.




She says one inmate, in particular, took it into her own hands to arrange a beating.

“They ended up getting her in the chow hall,” Garcia describes, “They beat the f–ck out of her.”

“They sliced her up with the lid from a tuna can.”

Garcia says other inmates threw hot water over Pearl. In another video, she says that the inmate behind the assault, Angel Annie Medina, passed away in a shooting after getting released from prison.


Pearl Fernandez expressed remorse about Gabriel’s murder.

Before being sentenced to life in prison in 2018, Pearl told a court: “I want to say I’m sorry to my family for what I did… I wish Gabriel was alive,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

She added, “Every day I wish that I’d made better choices.”

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A judge rejected her remorse, stating that Pearl’s actions were “horrendous and inhumane and nothing short of evil.”

At her trial, jurors heard how Gabriel was tortured and abused by his mother and her boyfriend after being placed in their care 8 months before his death.


The abuse included regular beatings, being forced to eat cat litter, and feces, his own vomit, being shot with a BB gun and more.

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On the day of his murder, Gabriel was beaten by Pearl and Aguirre for not cleaning up his toys.


Gabriel’s siblings, who Pearl also shares with his father Arnold Contreras, were also abused but not as intensely as Gabriel.

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami said in court that he believed Pearl and Aguirre tortured Gabriel because they thought he was gay.

Aguirre was sentenced to death for his role in the murder. His execution date has not been set in accordance with California’s moratorium on capital punishment.


According to Netflix’s docuseries, Pearl suffered abuse in her own childhood and has been diagnosed with depressive disorder, developmental disability and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In 2020, charges were dropped against four social workers accused of failing to protect Gabriel and falsifying records related to the case.

Given the concerns other family members had raised about Gabriel after he was put in Pearl’s care, the case is considered a failure on the part of Child Protective Services.

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Alice Kelly is YourTango’s Deputy News and Entertainment Editor. Based in Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest.