The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez on Netflix explores the tragic case of Gabriel Fernandez, who died at the hands of his mother Pearl Fernandez and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre. The series follows the subsequent murder trials and also exposes the numerous failures of the Los Angeles child protection services. For the final eight months of his life, Gabriel lived with his mother Pearl but before 2012, he lived with his great uncle and grandparents.
Who is Michael Lemos Carranza?
Michael Lemos Carranza was Gabriel Fernandez’s great uncle, and the uncle of Gabriel’s mother, Pearl.
Gabriel was born on February 21, 2005 and within days was placed in the care of Michael.
He raised and cared for Gabriel in the early years of his life, alongside his partner David Martinez.
Speaking in the documentary, David explains: “She [Pearl] didn’t want him and the family didn’t want her to have him.
“We convinced her to have Gabriel and for her to give [the baby] to us so we [could] raise it.”
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David also revealed that Pearl apparently told Michael to “come and get his kid” because “he was getting on her nerves”, at just three-days-old.
Elizabeth Carranza, Gabriel’s great-aunt, spoke highly of Michael and David in the documentary.
She said:“[Michael Lemos Carranza and David Martinez] were both very good with him.
“They would take him everywhere, he would always be clean and happy.
“You see his pictures as a baby, he was always smiling.
“They loved being with him and raising him, and Gabriel loved them both very much.”
In 2009, when he was four-years-old, Gabriel moved to live with his grandparents after his grandfather, Robert Fernandez did not agree with a same-sex couple raising a child.
Then in 2012 at age eight, he was placed in the care of his mother Pearl and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre.
In The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, it is revealed Pearl claimed to her parents she took Gabriel into her care as she wanted to bond with her son.
But prosecutor Jon Hatami believes Pearl took Gabriel into her custody so she could claim more welfare benefits.
During the eight months of living with Pearl and Isauro, Gabriel suffered extreme abuse.
As seen in the Netflix documentary series, he was kept locked in a cupboard on numerous occasions and suffered unbelievable injuries.
When emergency services were called to his home in May 2013, he was found with a fractured skull, broken ribs and BB gun bullets in his skin, to name a few of his horrific injuries.
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What happened to Michael Lemos Carranza?
Just 16 months after Gabriel’s death, 46-year-old Michael Lemos Carranza died on September 17, 2014.
The news was confirmed on the official Gabriel’s Justice Facebook page in September 2014. However, the cause of death remains unknown.
The post reads: “It is with a heavy heart and tears, that I inform you. Today my beloved cousin Michael has passed away today.
“He is now and will forever be with his Gabriel. May you both be hugging and laughing. R.I.P MICHAEL LEMOS CARRANZA.”
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Unfortunately, Michael’s death came before Pearl and Igauro were found guilty of killing Gabriel.
The couple were found guilty of murdering eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, who died on May 24, 2013.
Pearl is currently serving her life sentence at Chowchilla State Women’ Prison and Isauro is on death row at the San Quentin Jail, both situated in California.
As seen in the documentary, presiding Superior Court Judge George G Lomeli at there sentencing hearing in 2018 told the pair: “I hope you think about the pain you caused this child and that it tortures you.”
Isauro was found guilty of first-degree murder with an additional special circumstance of intentional murder by torture on November 15, 2017.
On February 24, 2018, Pearl pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.
Whereas Isauro was sentenced to death, Pearl was immune from receiving the death penalty after taking a plea deal. She will never be released from prison.
In The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, Michael’s partner David said, “He was my baby, I had never known pain before until he passed away. I will love him until I die.
“I don’t feel like I’m alone over here, I feel like they’re with me to this moment.”
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez is streaming on Netflix now
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