During closing arguments Monday in the trial of the man accused of torturing and killing his girlfriend’s 8-year-old son, prosecutors alleged defendant Isauro Aguirre was “pure evil,” saying he “liked torturing” the boy because he believed he was gay.
According to KTLA, prosecutor Jon Hatami repeatedly said “the truth is the truth” during his closing argument and recounted the allegations against Aguirre: that he beat, burned, whipped, bit, and shot BB pellets at Gabriel, and forced the child to eat cat litter and animal excrement.
He also alleged the man often restrained the boy in a cubby, placing a sock in the child’s mouth.
“Gabriel can’t walk through that door and take the witness stand and tell you all the horrible things that the defendant did to him,” Hatami said, the station reports. “There is evil in this room right now, and it’s right over there.”
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But Aguirre’s attorney, Michael Sklar, told the jury that while his client killed Gabriel, there was no premeditation, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
Instead, the 37-year-old “acted in a rage of anger followed by an explosion of violence” after allegedly learning Gabriel wanted his mother to end their relationship.
Gabriel died in 2013 from a skull fracture, shattered ribs and severe burns. Burrowed into his skin were BB pellets; one was also found in his lung. Aguirre, 37, and the boy’s 34-year-old mother, Pearl Fernandez, have both pleaded not guilty to murder charges.
Aguirre is charged with murder along with Pearl Fernandez. Aguirre’s attorneys have argued that he should not face the special circumstance allegation of torture included in his murder charge.
Pearl Fernandez’s trial is pending. Both defendants face a possible death sentence.
Two days after he was found unresponsive by emergency medical technicians inside his Los Angeles home, Gabriel died.
According to NBC Los Angeles, jurors hearing Aguirre’s case began deliberations Tuesday morning.
PEOPLE was unable to reach the attorneys representing Aguirre and Fernandez for comment.