A Los Angeles nurse's testimony has shed light on the gruesome details of an 8-year-old's injuries after he was fatally abused by his mother and her boyfriend.
Alison Segal said she was working at the Antelope Valley Hospital on May 22, 2013, when 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez was brought in after being found unresponsive in his home, KABC reported. She said she was working in the forensic unit, helping patients who were victims of abuse.
Segal said she observed Gabriel when he arrived at the hospital, but could not provide a comprehensive assessment because his condition was deemed too critical. The boy was then rushed to Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Gabriel's mother, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, had been arrested on accusations of torturing the young boy to death.
According to Gabriel's chart, the child fell in the shower. But Segal said she knew there was more to the story. She explained that the boy was on a ventilator and that his heart stopped twice.
"They had to resuscitate him with extreme measures," Segal said.
The nurse added that the child's temperature was just 88 degrees, which is considerably low for someone his age. She then described the disturbing details of Gabriel's injuries.
According to Segal, Gabriel's body was covered in bruises. His arms and legs were swollen, and BB gun injuries appeared on his neck and groin area. One BB remained lodged in Gabriel's groin.
Segal said she also spotted older injuries that were just starting to heal. She said Gabriel was missing skin missing from his neck, and there was also trauma to his private parts.
"There were abrasions. There were open wounds. There was bruising. There was swelling. There was marks on the legs," Segal said of the boy's condition, adding that he had cuts and marks all over his head, and he was missing teeth.
Gabriel's 14-year-old sister, Virginia, also testified in court. She said Pearl had previously beaten both her and her brother with a baseball bat, and that she would shoot Gabriel with a BB gun.
Virginia added that Aguirre also participated in the abuse. She said her mother's boyfriend was punching Gabriel on the night of his death, NBC News reported.
"He had knocked the air out of him and he fell over and he didn't get back up," Virginia said as she cried. "So they picked him up, they threw him in the shower and they kept yelling at him to wake up. When he didn't wake up, my mother decided to call the police."
Virginia said her mother then told her to clean her brother's blood off the floor.
John Alan, Aguirre's attorney, said his client committed "unspeakable acts of abuse" against the child, but added that evidence would show that "Isauro never intended for Gabriel to die."
Sources: WABC, NBC / Featured Images: James/Flickr / Embedded Images: Gabriel's Justice/Facebook, NBC LA, and ABC 7 via Daily Mail