Social Worker Fired Over Beating Death of Gabriel Fernandez About to Get Job Back

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Gabriel Fernandez is seen in a photo provided by his family.

Gabriel Fernandez is seen in a photo provided by his family.

A Department of Children and Family Services supervisor fired after the 2013 beating death of an 8-year-old Palmdale boy is close to getting his job back.

L.A. County’s civil service commission issued their proposed decision this week to reinstate Gregory Merritt, despite the determination by child welfare chief Philip Browning that he had “egregiously” missed multiple opportunities to save Gabriel Fernandez.

The boy’s mother and boyfriend are awaiting trial on charges of capital murder and a special circumstance of torture. They have pleaded not guilty.

The pair allegedly beat Gabriel to death after dousing him with pepper spray, forcing him to eat his own vomit and locking him in a cabinet with a sock stuffed in his mouth to muffle his screams, according to court records.

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