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Mother pleads guilty to murder, torture in death of 8-year-old California boy

LOS ANGELES -- The mother of an 8-year-old California boy who was routinely beaten, starved and tortured until he died has pleaded guilty to a murder charge.

City News Service reports Thursday that under the terms of a plea agreement, Pearl Fernandez is expected to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2013 death of Gabriel Fernandez.

The 34-year-old pleaded guilty to first- degree murder and admitted a special circumstance allegation of murder involving torture. Sentencing is set for June 7.

Fernandez's boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, was convicted last year of the same charge. Jurors recommended the death penalty when he's sentenced March 8.

Prosecutors also allege that four county social workers were negligent in the boy's case and have filed charges of child abuse and falsifying records against them.

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