Attorneys made closing arguments Monday in the torture murder trial against Isauro Aguirre, who Los Angeles County prosecutors said abused and brutally killed his girlfriend’s 8-year-old son, Gabriel Fernandez.
Prosecutor Jon Hatami repeatedly said “the truth is the truth” during his closing arguments, and attested that Aguirre was “pure evil.”
Hatami argued that Aguirre beat, bit, burned and whipped Gabriel. Augirre also knocked the boy’s teeth out, fed him cat litter and feces and kept him bound and gagged in a cubby, the prosecutor said.
He asked jurors how somebody can do that to a child, more than once.
“Gabriel can’t walk through that door and take the witness stand and tell you all the horrible things that the defendant did to him,” Hatami said.
“There is evil in this room right now, and it’s right over there,” Hatami said, pointing at the defendant.
Aguirre did not look at Hatami during the attorney’s closing arguments.
Defense attorney Michael Sklar said during his closing arguments that his client did not intend to kill Gabriel, but he was extremely angry when he found out that the boy apparently wanted his mother to end her relationship with Aguirre.
Sklar said his client admits to causing the fatal injuries, but that it only happened because Aguirre was stressed and furious.
The attorney said Aguirre described his level of anger as being at 20 on a scale of 1 to 10. He said his client “saw red,” was “hyperventilating,” and “almost passed out.”
“Isauro did not act with premeditation and deliberation,” Sklar said, explaining that those are necessary elements to convict under first-degree murder. “You must find him not guilty of murder in the first degree.”
Gabriel was taken to the hospital in cardiac arrest in May, 2013, where he eventually died. The couple called first responders to treat Gabriel, but that was only in an attempt to mislead, Hatami had previously argued.
The boy’s mother, Pearl Fernandez will be tried separately.
Four Los Angeles County social workers who were assigned to Gabriel’s case also face charges in connection with the death.