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Mother, Boyfriend Charged With Capital Murder In Deadly Beating Of Boy, 8

LANCASTER ( — A Palmdale couple accused of beating the woman's 8-year-old son to death appeared before a judge Tuesday, charged with one count each of capital murder.

Pearl Fernandez, 29, and 32-year-old Isauro Aguirre appeared in court Tuesday afternoon after their arrests Thursday in the death of Gabriel Fernandez.

Video from the courtroom showed Fernandez trying to duck out of sight as she entered a holding area. Some in the courtroom applauded after Fernandez and Aguirre were denied bail.

"I was clapping because she doesn't ever need to see the light of day again," said Sarah Frakes, a concerned citizen who attended the proceeding. "I hope she gets the maximum sentence she can get."

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the boy was tortured by Aguirre, suffering a broken skull and ribs as well as cigarette burns, abrasions on his ankles and bruises all over his body.

The child's mother is accused of doing nothing to stop the beating. Investigators said she has admitted to being in the apartment at the time.

Fernandez's father told reporters that his daughter is every bit as responsible as her boyfriend for the deadly beating.

"He's innocent," said a member of Aguirre's family, who spoke on the condition that their faces not be shown. "Everyone who knows him should know. Even her own family knows he's not guilty."

Authorities were tipped off to the abuse on May 22 after the Los Angeles County Fire Department was called out to the 200 block of East Avenue Q-10 on a report of a boy who was not breathing.

Gabriel Fernandez was transported to a local hospital, where he died on May 24.

Fernandez and Aguirre are expected back in court to enter pleas on June 11.

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