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Charges against the social workers linked to Gabriel Fernandez's killing will be dropped

Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES -- The charges against four social workers connected with the case of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, who was tortured and killed by his mother and her boyfriend, will be dropped Thursday, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.

Social workers Stefanie Rodriguez and Patricia Clement, as well as their supervisors, Kevin Bom and Gregory Merritt, were each charged with one felony count of child abuse and one felony count of falsifying public records after the boy died in May 2013.

Prosecutors alleged they mishandled evidence of abuse the boy faced at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend, and missed repeated red flags.

Judge George Lomeli had previously denied a motion to dismiss the charges against the social workers, saying they had demonstrated "an improper regard for human life" and "a lack of vigilance."

Gabriel's mother, Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, was sentenced to life in prison for her part in his death in June 2018. Her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, was sentenced to death.

 

In January, a judge in the 2nd District Court of Appeal said Lomeli should have granted the motion to dismiss the charges against the social workers. According to a news release from the county district attorney's office, Lomeli is expected to dismiss the charges Thursday morning.

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