The Netflix sensation “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez” has left viewers with many questions about the fates of those involved in the saga surrounding the young boy’s tortuous, horrific death.
Chief among these questions are those about the fates of the Gabriel Fernandez siblings after the trial.
Central to the conviction of Isauro Aguirre and first-hand witnesses to the death of their brother, the siblings became the bedrock of the prosecution’s case and eventual securing of a death penalty punishment for their mother’s former boyfriend.
What happened to the Gabriel Fernandez siblings, a brother and a sister, following their mother’s guilty plea and conviction in his death? And how were they impacted by the trial and how are they doing now? We have answers.
Who are the Gabriel Fernandez siblings?
Central figures in the Netflix documentary, the Gabriel Fernandez siblings gave some of the most powerful and damning testimony in the trial. Present at the trial of their mother’s boyfriend Isauro Aguirre, Ezequiel and Virginia told the courts of Isauro’s violent tendencies and psychotic levels of anger. Aged 16 and 14 respectively, they were protected under law as minors thus cameras were not permitted in court during their testimonies.
Nonetheless, footage of their powerful testimony was shown, faces blurred, and became central to the death sentence Isauro eventually received. Ezequiel and Virginia told the court that Isauro would force Gabriel to eat cat litter, spray him with pepper spray, make him bathe in cold water, and would not permit him to use the toilet, the Express reports.
The siblings were even forced to participate in the beating of their brother with Ezequiel describing how he coached Gabriel to “fall down quickly” to make such sessions shorter in duration. As such details were revealed to the public and beyond, it quickly became apparent that Gabriel wasn’t the only victim in this case and that his brother and sister both suffered immense trauma as well.
The Gabriel Fernandez siblings further told the court about how their mother Pearl Fernandez deceived social workers. Virginia described Gabriel’s solitary life and his confinement in a cupboard. The siblings would sneak food to the young child while he was imprisoned in his own home. His brother Ezequiel located notes written by Gabriel that described how he wanted to die and brought them to the attention of the therapist Carmen Le Norgant who subsequently forwarded the evidence of suicidal ideation on through the system yet nothing happened.
Police were also notified and even visited the family’s home but did not interview Gabriel at that time. The final beating led to Gabriel’s death. Pearl’s plea meant that her children would not need to testify against her and, today, the children are in the custody of a family member. Because of the extremely harrowing circumstances surrounding their lives, they are shying away from publicity and have shunned requests from the media.
The siblings were part of a lawsuit against the Department of Children and Family Services as well as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department for the death of their brother. A settlement was reached between the parties in the amount of $2.6 million.