Gabriel Fernandez gave Mother’s Day card to Pearl days before she and partner tortured him to death – The Sun03/06/2020
TORTURED Gabriel Fernandez made a heartfelt Mother’s Day card for his mom — days before she and her boyfriend murdered him.
Gabriel was eight years old in 2013 when he was mercilessly abused to death, which has been the center of a harrowing Netflix docuseries called The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez.
The six-part documentary, released last month, revealed that just days before he died, Gabriel made his mom, Pearl Sinthia, a card explaining why he loved her.
The front of the card shows a picture of a house Gabriel colored and says the words “Open the door to see who loves you!” — which leads to a school picture of the boy.
Horrendous, inhumane and nothing short of evil.
Inside, he wrote he thinks his mom is special because “she is a loveing mom, and I love her because she is beautiful.”
He also wrote down that he loved when his mom “helps me.”
The card included a Mother’s Day “coupon” that he wrote was good to be used for “a time for me and you.”
Pearl Sinthia pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and murder involving torture in 2018.
She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole — instead of the death penalty — as part of a plea deal.
The judge who sentenced her called what she did to her son “horrendous, inhumane and nothing short of evil.”
“It’s beyond animalistic because animals know how to take care of their young,” Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli said at the time.
Pearl’s boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, was given the death penalty.
Gabriel was repeatedly tortured by the couple in California; they beat him, starved him, tied him up, locked him in a cabinet, shot him with a BB gun and once knocked his teeth out with a bat, prosecutors said.
The eight-year-old also had a fractured skull, broken ribs and burns across his body.
Pearl had called 911 on May 22, 2013 to report that Gabriel wasn’t breathing. She claimed he fell and hit his head on dresser.
He was brought to the hospital and pronounced brain dead, before dying days later from blunt-force trauma and neglect.
The Netflix documentary has brought renewed attention to the abuse Gabriel suffered during his short life before he was killed — and how child protective services allowed him to be abused.
Photos of Gabriel’s injuries have been shown in the doc, leaving viewers — and the Netflix crew — horrified.
Taking to Twitter, one upset viewer wrote: "I’m struggling really hard to keep myself together watching the trials of Gabriel Hernandez on netflix, it’s so hard to watch I’m so heartbroken."
Another tweeted: "Not even 10 minutes into The Trial of Gabriel Hernandez and Im absolutely floored already. I have no words …."
A third was equally distraught, adding: "Trial of Gabriel Hernandez show is the saddest thing I have ever watched..who can do that to an 8 year old."
Brian Knappenberger, who directed the documentary, told Entertainment Weekly: “The documentary is a really difficult watch but it’s an important one.”
"We made the decision that Gabriel’s voice needed to be heard, and in order to tell that story we had to be as honest and as straightforward as we possibly could.”
He continued: "I think that in the end, this is a story of a kind of redemption, or a questioning of how things can be better in this system and that has motivated us to tell the story.”
"There’s no question parts of it are very, very intense,” Knappenberger said.
"But, I think by following the case, the trials, how it was resolved, will help people learn how we can make the system better — which is really the heart of the piece.”
Knappenberger said he and the documentary crew were allowed in the courtroom when the boy’s mom and her boyfriend were sentenced.
"We were all a wreck in the beginning. We heard from first responders, who for many years took emergency calls of all types, testify that this was the powerful thing they’d ever seen or been a part of.”
"Gabriel’s story meant so much to so many people,” he said, revealing that the more they learned about Gabriel’s life, they knew how important it was to tell people about it.
In 2016, Los Angeles County prosecutors filed criminal charges against four former employees of the county’s Department of Children and Family Services.
Kevin Bom, Stefanie Rodriguez, Gregory Merritt and Patricia Clement were accused of being criminally negligent in Gabriel’s case, downplaying and hiding his abuse.
But in January, a California appeals court threw out the charges against the social workers because they “never had the requisite duty to control the abusers and did not have care or custody of Gabriel.”
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