Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Sad Story Of Cristian Fernandez


Cristian Fernandez is 13 years old. He is the youngest inmate awaiting trial in Florida and if convicted of the murder of his 2 year old half brother could be the youngest person to be sentenced to life without parole. This kid had everything stacked against him from the very beginning. Not an excuse, because people have overcome things that are worse, but take a look at what he grew up with. When he was 2 years old, Cristian was found wandering naked in a Miami street. His 14 year old mother had given birth to him when she was 12. No one could find her, but his grandmother was turning tricks to pay for her coke habit out of a hotel room. His father was convicted of sexually assaulting Cristian. He was sexually assaulted by another cousin and beaten by his stepfather who committed suicide rather than be questioned by the police.

Cristian is charged with the death of his half brother and the sexual assault of his 5 year old half-brother. He is being tried as an adult even though it happened when he was 11.

118 comments:

Chris said...

No need for the "Not an excuse..." caveat Enty. Yes, a person or two rises above the shitty hand they're dealt from birth but they are outliers. The majority of people born under circumstances like Cristian do not make it out.

Society harps on the minority that does so that they feel better about ignoring the majority that doesn't.

Its just U said...

Wow. Born to lose. How awful for everyone in that story. Such a sad waste of all their lives.

Freckles said...

Poor child didn't stand a chance

Freckles said...

Poor child didn't stand a chance

Frufra said...

Probably the worst thing I've heard in a while, and I don't have the heart to research this. Why in the name of God was this child charged as an adult? Does anyone know? Please just explain it to me here so I don't have to read actual news stories and get super-depressed. Huge system failure. If we can't protect our children, society is doomed.

msgirl said...

I agree with Chris, he really didn't stand a chance, not with a background like that, especially with absolutely no attachment as an infant. This poor boy.

MAC said...

Perhaps all the adults in this child's life should be tracked down and tried instead.

Kathleen said...

Well said, Chris. Society failed this kid, and now it's locking him up out of sight so that it doesn't have to look at a constant reminder of its neglect. See no evil, hear no evil.

shauniebear said...

Why was he not pulled out of this bullshit and put somewhere safe and stable as soon as he was found wandering around as a toddler?! I blame this on our country's shitty system. So sad.

bobbi_1025 said...

Actually, the state attorney has never said they were going for the death penalty.

Also, 2 weeks before he killed his brother he broke his leg. And he had killed a kitten, masturbated in class, and simulated sex with a classmate at school.

He was medically evaluated and dr stated that he poses a significant threat for violence.

Comma Chaser said...

Reminds me of Charles' Manson's childhood. Someone above said it right - born to lose, indeed.

strawberrygirl said...

Florida can't lock this kid up for life and have Casey Anthony walking around free as a bird.

bobbi_1025 said...

This happened here where I live so it's in the news almost daily.

SueRH said...

Unfortunately, you can't let this kid wander free either. He may have had the cards stacked against him from the beginning, but he's a danger and his violence will only get worse.

goheels83 said...

That is heartbreaking. Perpetual cycle.

tara17 said...

All children need access to love and understanding. How can we facilitate access to foster care and mentoring. So many people want to help and the costly systems seems designed to delay and prevent care and nurturing of children. Not to mention the overall primary school system. I hope somehow Cristian can find peace.

jennifer hansen said...

angela corey who is doing the trayvon martin case is also doing this, b/c it happened in jacksonville and she's the state attorney of duval she's very tough. enough said. as someone from jax where this is being covered almost daily i must say he deserves to be tried as an adult. what should they throw him in juvie and let him out at 18? no thank you.

RustyJ said...

This kid has been so abused he is broken and prison is not going to fix him. I feel for him and hope he gets a lot of help.

But truth be told as a mother I wouldn't want him in my neighborhood near my kids.

Frufra said...

@Sue - I agree, but is he in line to go to the real, adult penitentiary? That is horrible. I don't care what he did - he committed the murder when he was 11. My son turns 11 in a few weeks and is in fifth grade. He still sleeps with his baby blanket, for God's sakes! Eleven is so, so young. Doesn't Florida have provisions for criminal children?

Frufra said...

What about treatment for the trauma and abuse he has suffered? I realize his case is extreme, and maybe the damage can't be repaired. But shit, the state pen? That can't be the best solution. I hope. It's especially tragic if the state pen IS the best placement for this boy.

fancyscreenname said...

^5

TheLibertine said...

He's permanently damaged goods. You cannot ascribe your well adjusted experience with 11 years olds on this kid -- his age has nothing to do with his psychopathology -- it is well accelerated because of environmental and genetic factors. It's tragic, but he'll never be fixed; he'll never be safe; he'll never be functional. We've been subsidizing his family all their lives and now we'll be subsidizing his existence until he dies. You do not ever want this kid living in your community, and I don't want him living in mine.

lucy said...

There's no good answer here. Everybody loses.

DewieTheBear said...

He has a rather long criminal record for a thirteen-year-old. No sympathy from me.

Frufra said...

@Dewie - I am certainly not trying to cause trouble or stir anything up, and I always love your comments. However, please rethink your lack of sympathy for this child. He is clearly damaged and possibly past the point of redemption, but he is certainly deserving of our sympathy. He did not ask to be born into the hell on earth that is his life. This is a tragic situation - there are no winners here. But this little person needs our sympathy, and society as a whole needs to open its hearts to children in abusive situations.

I work with kids - it's my passion - and they are all deserving of love and second chances. We can't save them all, but we can damn sure try.

dia papaya said...

Frufra - I read the article on CNN. This is the saddest story I've read in a long time. He is the product of a sexual assault on his then 12 yo mother. If only he had been given up for adoption, maybe hecwoukd have been saved. You can't expect a 12 yo to be a parent. We failed him and his mom.

I can't imagine what they will do. He won't be safe in the adult penn, but we can't have him out in public either. I don't know enough about child psychology to know if this one can be saved. He didn't receive the love and human bonding he needed and now he's only demonstrating what he knows - violence, trauma and sexual abuse.

On the day his baby brother died, mom had left them all home alone together. When she came home and say the 2 yo unresponsive she did not call 911, she googled "unconscious" on the Internet and waited 8hrs to seek medical help. I believe she was sentenced to manslaughter and is in prison too. No one wins here :(

MAC said...

@ Frufra Children are typically placed in Juvenal facilities until they're 18 then moved to an adult facility.

Rose said...

How is it even legal for a 11/13 year old to be tried as an adult? He isn't allowed to buy cigarettes or see x-rated movies but he can be given life in prison? He needs to be punished, and hopefully have some type of help, but I can't agree he deserves life.

iheartgoss said...

Wow, how heartbreaking! I agree with others that he had no chance, but I also wouldn't want him walking around free either. So, if he gets tried as an adult, does that mean he'll be in prison with a bunch of adults? He'll be even more abused in there if that's the case!

Brenda L said...

MAC is right, we have a youth prison here close to where I live.

jbdean_79 said...

@Frufra, no. He will likely be kept in a juvenille facility until he turns 18 and then be transferred to an adult facility. If however, he poses a threat to the others in the same facility (which based on his history he very well may) he could be kept in adult facility but secluded from the general population.

I'm sorry, but I agree with SueRH, this kid in NO WAY belongs on the streets. Certainly not now, and quite possibly not ever.

A sad story, yes. And yes, many people have failed him. However I dont think the damage can be undone. I think there are some crimes that are just too heinous, and many of them are on his list.

Lola said...

I think if the prosecutor decides to ask for life with no parole they are going to have a pretty big hurtle to overcome to get it after this summer's SCOTUS ruling. SCOTUS did not expressly bar life with no parole for juvenile murderers (it was banned for non murderers a couple of years ago) but now age and background get strong consideration in the sentencing (recognizing that there is a big difference in a 17 year old's thought process compared to say, an 11 year old). The 2 boys who were ordered resentenced in the SCOTUS case were older than this boy so my assumption would be that 11 would generally not be considered unrehabilitatable (is that a word?). None of this means that juveniles (especially convicted of murder) get out when they turn 18; it only means that states can't lock them up and throw away the key.

As to the question of where they house juveniles who are imprisoned past 18...I am pretty sure there was a SCOTUS case a few years back that ruled states can't house juveniles under a certain age with adults. They would have to be housed at a juvenile facility and then transferred to an adult facility.

dia papaya said...

Someone was on here months ago talking about the brain trauma that results from childhood abuse. It physically damages the brain.

Kids like Christian do need our sympathy. He is a part of our future and we as a society are not doing a good job if this can happen. We failed his mom too! Raped and pregnant at 12! I'm sure that's not what she wanted for her life.

Frufra - hug all those kids for me and your sweet 11yo too!

CarmeliteLady said...

What about trying his family as adults for criminal child abuse and neglect? Sexual assault? He could have had a chance dammit. There are plenty of people who grew up with bullshit, even extreme bullshit as in this case. Does that mean we put people to sleep like we do with biting dogs? No because human beings are not animals and you cannot predict absolutely without a doubt that he will do the same thing that was done to him to others, sure you can get a good likelihood of it, but if we are going this route then why dont we sterilize drug addicts and criminals? If we are so sure their spawn is going to ruin society? Once we start sterilizing criminals we can then move on to sterilizing the parents of criminals, then sterilizing the siblings and cousins of criminals, because you know that they are from the same family so they are doomed to be exactly like their family members. Right? Why don't we sterilize and anesthetize whole families of criminals? Just put everyone down who is associated with a criminal or drug addict? Yeah, that would be everyone. This is bullshit. This is not justice. This is a sad situation that calls for healing, forgiveness, love, kindness, caring, generosity, and wholeness, not more murder, suffering, neglect and abuse. Putting an elleven year old in jail for life? Are you fucking kidding me? While we are at it lets go back to sterilizing insane black people, and people in insane asylums, and developmentally disabled, bi polar people, depressed people, then we can move on to black people, hispanic people, and then we can have a nice revolt of rich/white against poor/minority people, let's just put everyone messed up in jail because we know that they are going to ruin society, if you were abused you will abuse, so let's just not waste time and kill everyone who might be a threat or damaged in some way. The problem is we all fit in these categories, everyone of us has had problems, has fucked up, is currently doing all of those things or has close family members who are doing those things. Welcome to earth, that's the way it is. Locking people up, locking children up because they fucked up is not the answer. So he killed his little brother. I don't know about you but young kids fighting do get extremely irrational and passionate about hurting their siblings, I had serious fights with my sister. I knew not to hurt her because of how we were raised, what if I had been abused, raped, beaten, molested? Maybe there would have been more darkness there and who knows? The point is you can't answer violence with violence. Hello? Ever heard of Israel and Palestine? Afghanistan and India? Muslims vs Christians? Montagues vs Capulates? Shouldn't we have all learned that one in highschool? That violence begets violence, answer darkness with light, boundaries, but light. What did Jesus teach?

Pookie said...

this is mortifying and unbelievable. ita w/ everyone that there are no winners here. i applaud the schoolmate/families in jacksonville and the dominican community in florida for calling out the DCF, and for making a push that this little boy be rehabbed. i have to agree w/ them that angela corey is a very dangerous, desperate-to-rehab-her-own-image type of atty, and can only hope and pray she does the right thing.

jbdean_79 said...

@Rose, it's legal to charge him as an adult if they meet certain elements which would demonstrate he had the mental capacity of an adult. Although the elements/ case law gets pretty complicated, for the "blog" purposes basically they have to show that he knew what he was doing was wrong when he committed the act and he understood the nature and extent of the consequences of his actions.

CarmeliteLady said...

Capulets

Rickatoo said...

How did the mother & grandmother retain custody of him when he was found walking around the streets at 2? He should have been removed from the home immediately.

surfer said...

What he really needs is to be in a locked-down mental health facility, not prison. At least in a mental health facility, he can receive intense treatment, where there might be hope of redemption. Prison will most likely make him angrier and not treat the underlying issues.

Pogue Mahone said...

It is stories like this that make me lose all faith in humanity.

kpist said...

While his circumstance are horrible and tragic, you cannot grow a conscience. He is detached from emotion. Unfortunately, I fear he would kill again.

Ari said...

instead of jailing him, why not put him in an institution to help him heal? i don't get this legal system

Layna Day said...

If you can't have sympathy for this situation, well, good for you. I guess, Dewie. :-/

auntliddy said...

Well, he has to be seperated from society. Can he be salvaged? I ghink damage done in first 5 yrs cannot be undone. However they are doing work on changing memories so mb he wlll hv chance. He prob has reactive attatchment disorder, which is pretty much hopeless in terms if undoing.

Layna Day said...

And for the record, I don't think those of us who see the tragedy of this situation is suggesting the child be released back into regular society. Obviously, that wouldn't be good for him or anyone.

cc423 said...

This is 360 degrees of tragic. And that poor kid's eyes are so dead looking. He's still a kid and still worth saving. Good luck to him.

camembert said...

Florida needs to be cast off into the Atlantic. Truly America's wang.

Seachica said...

@Strawberrygirl - I'd rather have Casey Anthony free than this kid. Yes, it's tragic. But this kid is likely to continue to be violent, whereas Casey Anthony is less likely to be so.

bobbi_1025 said...

@rickatoo the mom was charged with manslaughter and has pled guilty. She is facing up to 30yrs I believe.

And after the wandering the streets incident both he and his mother were placed in fostercare.

urban chaos said...

I'm in agreement with surfer and others who suggested institutional living. This is a horrific reminder as to what happens when society at large fails our innocents.
For anyone who thinks cuts to social programs should happen.. Here's proof we need more!

That said, he's disturbed and I sincerely doubt he can ever live at large in society without harming himself and/or others.
Just sad!!

Tuxedo Cat said...

I wouldn't normally agree with a decision like this, but the judge must be so certain that he will re-offend, that he or she is rendering this decision to protect the public.

Everything is in place for this boy to grow up into a sociopath: grandmother a prostitute, incest by his own father, gross neglect, teenage mother, transient living, drug addiction in the family...

If he goes to a juvenile facility it will be dangerous for the other boys.

He needs to go to a protected area where he can get assessed and hopefully attach to a responsible adult that will help him.

SusanB said...

This is truly a horrible case. Florida's DFACS or whatever they call it is horrific. Don't believe me? Google Nubia Barahona. Her body was found about 1 mile from my house. Another child, DFACS lost track of and she had disappeared from the last known address - to this day they have no idea what happened to her. She was 8 years old (can't remember her name).

As for Florida, please don't tar us all with the same brush. Most of the people in this state are just like people in every other state. It's just plain ignorant to assume we're all like that. That would be like assuming everyone in California is like Amanda Bynes.

.robert said...

If he's on the small side and causes no trouble they could leave him in juvi until he's 21-22. I've seen it at least once.

Florida is, in my experience, horrible about protecting kids.

yodelay said...

What. The. Florida. So our society failed this human from birth, and now that he is completely broken, the Florida solution is to set him up for an entire lifetime of abuse, torture and degredation, where his only hope will be to take out all his rage on someone else. Way to go America. Way to go human race.

Amber said...

@ yodelay - LOL great recall on the WTFlorida.

Carolyn said...

I could not have said it any better than Chris in the very first comment on this thread.

It's why I get so irritated with the "pick yourself up by your bootstraps" mentality that a lot of people preach. Most of us would not make it out of a situation like this. We all think we would, or like to think we would, but that is not the reality.

JSierra said...

I would say how can we let this type of thing happen, how can our civilized society just let children be abandoned, neglected, raped, and basically programmed for violence. But if I said that, it would be hypocritical because what am I doing about it? How am I helping?

The emptiness in his eyes breaks my heart.

Rose said...

I think Casey Anthony is far worse. She is a grown adult who premeditated to kill her own child, then hid it and lied about it.

Rose said...

Thanks jbdean!

Its just U said...

Aileen Wournos comes to mind. She was a tragic broken woman who was let down and hurt and abused by every person in her life. She became a serial killer and eventually executed. My heart breaks when I hear stories like this. Lessons are never learned.

Cornbread said...

This child frightens me, and also makes me so very sad. I cannot even begin to fathom what he's thought, felt, and experienced in his short 13 years.

Not sure if he can be rehabbed. I think of people like Dahmer, Bundy, BTK, Son of Sam, Manson...I just don't know if damage can ever truly be undone.

SusanB, thanks for having Florida's back. Not all of our residents fall into the same category, and neither do our cities and towns. Every state has similar issues. And while I can crack a good FL joke, at some point, you do get a little exhausted with the constant barrage of negativity.

Hasn't Alabama done something wrong lately?! ;)

Del Riser said...

It's all been said. This is tragic in so many ways. I fear for our future.

thetruth said...

Who is saying let him wonder the streets? No one. Some heartless @@@@ comments here. No to freedom but yes to institution/rehab/mental hospital. Left to rot in a prison- disgusting. He is as much a victim as his poor siblings. why not just kill the boy so he doesnt tarnish our prefect lives?
Obviously he wont get the help he needs as it all comes down to ££££$$$$ and some career attorney making an example of him no doubt. So sad.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

His 25+yr old father who raped his then 12 yr old mother was given a ten year sentence of probation. Right there began this diabolical problem of sins.

I wonder what would have happened if his mother was able to see her rapist get punished for what he did to her? Would she had gained some self respect? Understood that she mattered? Which if so, she would have passed that on down the line to her own children.

So for this instance, yes, I do blame our failed system (of when it comes to child rapists and how we handle them -they all need extermination).

Unknown said...

I know the lawyers handling this case (on the defense side). There's a lot that's not in Enty's rendition that makes this story one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever heard.

As for the "murder" of his brother - the charge is quite a stretch. It was just some rough housing, the brother hit his head, and the mom left the brother there, untreated for hours. Brother ultimately died from head wounds. That's the murder charge. Rubbish.

Syko said...

I'd like to second SusanB's comments about Florida. Yes, we have some crazies here, but most of us are like anyone else. We work, play, live our lives without any sort of police interaction.

This kid has been quoted as saying "You got to suck up feelings and get over it." He does not allow himself to have feelings. Understandable when you know what he's been through. His stepfather who beat him committed suicide before the police could arrive to question him. He's had nothing good happen to him ever.

It's just a totally tragic situation. My heart aches to think of a child looking at life in prison, but he can not be allowed to be free. He needs extensive therapy, and I'm not sure that could save him. Just a waste of a life.

Montie said...

I read about this yesterday and, from the description of the injuries, I'm not sure he intended to kill his little brother. He didn't smother, shoot or stab him. They were abuse-type injuries. He had broken the little boy's leg "wrestling" with him a couple of weeks earlier. He could have gotten angry and beat the baby or they could have been rough-housing. The mother left the three kids home alone with the 11-year-old in charge, then didn't seek medical attention when she returned. She's as much to blame and, thankfully, she was charged too. Regardless, a little one is still dead and the older boy's life is ruined because no one ever stepped in to help him.

Kimberly said...

But I guess the sexual assault of the 5 year old by him is AOK. Lets let him free. Baby and coddle him. Keep him in your home with your daughters. Psychopaths are BORN not made. Enviroment does not change them. They just get better at charming others and hiding the evil inside. We have had three year olds dignosed with mental illness, pyschopathic tendencies, that have tried to hurt/kill infant siblings and family pets because " i don't like him, he should go away."

Kimberly said...

I'm saying the child has evil souless eyes. He's broken. No heart. He will kill again

kelgela said...

Seems to me like he did his 2 year old brother a favor by killing him.


It's sad how his life has been.

T. E. Cuz said...

Agree w/ seachica and dewie. Sad situation, these adults need to have some consequences and seems like the community where they live needs some education.

SusanB said...

I don't know enough about psychology to answer this: is there enough money and time in the world to fix this child? If not, wouldn't it be better for the rest of the world to have him put away forever? Not in a harmful situation - just an institution that would treat him as kindly as possible without letting him go free. You psych majors! Can he be fixed?

SusanB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TracySwingKid said...

Incarceration versus education. There are a number of studies and articles out there. We spend more on our prisoners than we do educating our children. I saw a documentary detailing how paying for a child to have a quality, private education would steer them into a productive instead of criminal life. People that cannot provide for a child should not be having children, but it happens. Our system can make a difference in these children's lives. The question is, why isn't it?

Coriander Shea said...

I have immense compassion for this young man and I hope that he ends up being placed in a mental health facility. I hope that he is provided a safe place to heal and receive the therapy he desperately needs. <3

I refuse to leer at him like he is some sort of sideshow freak and I don't believe this little boy is evil. I believe that real evil is the apathy and callousness of "normal" people when faced with an opportunity to provide compassion and empathy to another.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

@tracyswingkid - b/c an educated mind makes changes, ruffles feather's, etc and a mental slave is just that....a slave. Save for, the majority of us have NO IDEA we're slaves for them.

Rose said...

Kimberley, I can't find the post that said the sexual abuse was ok, or that he should be let go.

I see a lot of people saying he shouldn't be tried as an adult, and/or life in prison is too extreme. There are a lot options between free and 70 years.

maggs said...

AGREE...TheLibertine said...

He's permanently damaged goods. You cannot ascribe your well adjusted experience with 11 years olds on this kid -- his age has nothing to do with his psychopathology -- it is well accelerated because of environmental and genetic factors. It's tragic, but he'll never be fixed; he'll never be safe; he'll never be functional. We've been subsidizing his family all their lives and now we'll be subsidizing his existence until he dies. You do not ever want this kid living in your community, and I don't want him living in mine

nova said...

@Kimberly you are simply wrong. You're talking about pyschopathy, which is in-born, but the mental health community distinguishes that from sociopathy, which has similar traits but is caused by the environment. In this case I feel safe in assuming that his surroundings made him this way. To accuse a severely abused child of inherent evil is so cruel that I can't even believe you said that.

Maxine Alisha said...

He doesn't need to be tried as an adult and sentenced to life in a prison where he is likely to be sexually abused again. He needs psychological help.

This should be in a secure unit as he is likely to offend again but he deserves the chance to help deal with the demons in his head brought on by the years of abuse.

The 'adults' in his life should also be held responsible and any other of his siblings be taken into care/ adopted and given a chance at life.

Agent**It said...

He looks like a lost soul at the age of 13.This is beyond sad. Remember Lionel Tate? Violated probation and now in prison.

g.strathmore said...

This makes me so sad. There are no words.

jax said...

save your sympathy for the kid he raped and the other he murdered.

pedophiles come in all shapes and sizes and ages. this kid got a raw deal, but like everyone has said, not everyone becomes an abuser after being abused. He did. Public safety trumps the sad story.

Laura said...

what is the point of the adult/juvenile status if they dont stick to it? it should be as it is. Really the brain doesnt fully mature to 25 so I say go ahead and make it at least 21.

Cornbread said...

@Agent**It, I was unfamiliar with the Lionel Tate case and read up on it. Sad, to say the least.

It's possible this kid could get the same plea bargain option, but whether effective rehab is even possible would be the big question.

I suggest reading the Wiki article on Tate...it's brief, but explains why a juvenile (even at such a young age) can be charged with felony murder and tried as an adult in Florida.

shag said...

I feel badly for this boy. His parents, family, and the system failed him. He will never be rehabilitated, since he never knew "normalcy". My heart aches for his young victims as well.

Sadie Goes Electric said...

where the hell are his parents now... and where the hell were they when thier two year old was being murdered... when thier five year old was touched... this child saw something sick in his home life that twisted his head beyond what a young boy should be. the parents have secrets and something is wrong with this....

cricket said...

It's sad the horrible way he was raised,but he's a danger to the public. He needs to be put away for life. If he's tried as a juvenile he will be out at 18 or 21. If he murdered and sexually abused children while he's still a child himself,what is he going to be doing when he's an adult. He's a sociopath,he can't be fixed.

CubanMermaid said...

This story fails to give all of the relevant background details. First, Fernandez was barely 12 when he allegedly killed his brother and there is no evidence that he broke his brother's leg - the mother here pled guilty to lesser charges very quickly in order to avoid potential liability later - especially since children Fernandez's age are at great risk for false confession syndrome. It is not unheard of for children to take responsibility for parents in such situations.

Also, Angela Corey charged Fernandez with first degree murder by bootstrapping an overt accidental killing to a felony child abuse charge as the underlying felony. This is a disgraceful act by a prosecutor - especially where a 12 year old child is concerned. There is zero evidence that Fernandez knowingly or willfully harmed his brother - the claim is that he shoved his brother into a shelf. Corey has the record in Florida for condeming the most children in the state to adult prison - many to die there. She argued in court that Ferandez should be locked up in an adult facility in the "hole" (for his own protection) at age 12 and 5 months. Even the judge couldn't stomach that and sent him back to juvie - but Corey had already kept Fernandez away from caring adults interested in his welfare for several months and forced him into three weeks of solitary confinement in the adult jail prior to extracting the so-called sexual abuse confession. There is zero forensic evidence that the boy improperly touched his younger brother - and given Fernandez was forced to babysit the child - change his clothes and bath him - it is not unlikely that improper touching occurred. No other nation in the world would recognize a crime in such circumstances - especially since this touching purportedly occurred when Fernandez was but ELEVEN. Corey hopes everyone will buy this story and see this boy as a rapist murderer - even though the improper touching incident is completely unrelated to the toddler's death.

Fernandez was forced to babysit this two year old toddler, his five year old brother and another child on a routine, daily basis, for hours at a time. Imagine yourself babysitting three under five or even two or one toddler. Lose patience yet? Imagine a barely 12 year old, forced into the role of family disciplinarian - the toddler is tearing up the house and throwing his urine-soaked clothes around, the five year old is running for the door half naked, and the baby is screaming. What's a 12 year old boy to do? Perhaps he yells at the toddler and shoves him - a little too hard. Then, he immediately calls his Mommy and in complete terror waits for her arrival - where she thereupon waits 8 hours before obtaining treatment. Does Fernandez really sound like a psychopath now that you know this information?

CubanMermaid said...

(continued)
Corey is a monster - a legalized serial child abuser of the worst sort who was appointed to handle the Travon Martin case to rehabilliate her disgusting and abusive reputation. She is being opposed by a team of local lawyers who are defending Fernandez for free because they are so horrified by Corey's abuse of the law in this case. Felony murder might make sense for an adult - but for a little boy who just passed his 12th birthday? A little boy who has been brutally abused and is under horrific stress to care for three toddler siblings?

Manslaughter is manslaughter - NOT murder. This is an involuntary manslaughter case - not an intentional first degree murder case. Corey hopes to fool you all by adding in the sexual abuse charges so you will presume the boy guilty and lacking the ability to reform. In the first place, kids charged with this form of sexual abuse at that age rarely if ever reoffend. And kids who accidentally kill younger siblings are not known to reoffend and are not psychopaths. If Fernandez had raped the two year old and suffocated him for the enjoyment of seeing him die, I would have a another perspective. But getting angry at age 12 because you're cooped up with babies and going over the edge and accidentally harming one does not a murderer make.

JustJen said...

Sounds good....CubanMermaid, you convinced me.

So, will you be picking him up at the courthouse? Cause I'm sure you will be offering this poor, misunderstood boy refuge in your home, around your family as the "caring adults" that are interested in his well being NOW weren't that interested when he was being subjected to the horrors of caring for his younger siblings.


Being sarcastic here but yeah, society didn't really seem to give a shit about his situation until he was charged with murder. It's ironic because he could have been saved, maybe, if he would have been placed with some of the lovely, caring people who are now so outraged at the past years of his life. I keep thinking of a two year old, wandering around while his junkie grandmother turns tricks.

Cmermaid said...

I'm actually a foster parent so yeah I do care for the kids that society seems to forget about.... Your sarcasm in such a sad case is neither funny nor necessary.

All about Eve said...

I was thinking the same Frufra because if there's no treatment for this kid and he's going to jail for life we might as well go for the death penalty!

It's so sad that kids have to grow up like that

yodelay said...

After reading more about this story today, it seems the wrong person is charged with murder. The boy was roughhousing with his brother and the small child got hurt. The adult in the situation neglects to take care of the situation until the small child is too far gone to heal. So who is ultimately at fault, the child or the mother who did nothing when she saw her own toddler unconscious? She supposedly looked up medical sites to find out what to do in such a situation. All of those sites would say call 911 and she didn't.
What parent has never had to rush there kid to the ER? And why do you do that instead if waiting 8 hours to get help -so your kid doesn't die!

I think the mother is the actual murderer and the child is guilty of manslaughter. But that doesn't make headlines...or a career.

@TheGWU said...

@Kimberly said...
I'm saying the child has evil souless eyes. He's broken. No heart. He will kill again

People like you are why kids like this exist. You're as much of the problem as his mother, grandmother, social worker are. Kids don't dream of being killers, abusers, gang members etc. Kids like this have the same dreams as kids from "good homes, in nice areas have". The difference, they lose hope too early. They are taught that this world is a cruel and uncaring place.

This kid was turned into an abuser, and killer by the age of 11 because the adults in his life, community, and state failed him. So warehousing him isn't going to help. He needs treatment. We owe it to him to do what we failed to do before, TRY and help him. To allow the government to wash their hands of a young person, without even trying to help him, is unforgivable.

Aside: I work with young people, and I'm always amazed when some young woman gets pregnant who can't even take care of herself, and some jackass tells her it's a sin to have an abortion. Here's a new one, it's a greater sin to bring one of God's children onto this earth that you are unable to properly care for. It's a greater sin to allow a kid to suffer through neglect, abuse and a lack of love.

@JustJen, the sad thing is, he was probably place back in his mom's care, because his social workers knew that most people won't adopt a two year old who has been abused, with a twelve year old mother and whose grandmother is a crack addicted prostitute. The only shot this kid has was if he had been taken away at birth. But his mom probably wanted him, because at 12 and in the hospital, a baby seems like something you can manage.

Excuse me while I go abuse some high-caloric food and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think that will make me feel better.










CanadianMiss said...

I have nothing constructive to add to this thread.
#1: I hope the whole truth is discovered, what ever it may be
#2: My heart hurts for all the children in this situation.

yodelay said...

Sad fact- after the incident when he was 2, he and his mother went to foster care. Can you imagine? A mother and her child in foster care AT THE SAME TIME.

Cmermaid said...

I'm actually a foster parent so yeah I do care for the kids that society seems to forget about.... Your sarcasm in such a sad case is neither funny nor necessary.

misspoppypants said...

@ Kimberly "Psycopaths are born, not made." This is neither true nor false. It's a mix of both as psychologists and psychiatrists have been debating this for decades. Is this child a psychopath? Look at his history. You are contradicting yourself. From his history you cannot argue that he was born that way. This boy had no chance. His life was over a 2 because he was never protected. Your letter sounds hysterical. You should quietly thank God that you have never had that life happen to you. There but for the Grace of God go all of us. Even if you are not a Christian, get off your righteous soap box. You are not a psychologist nor can you even begin to fathom the horrors this child has seen. Witness your own hyperbolic reaction to what he did and then realize you are not the victim. He had the types of experience that horrify you...happen to HIM. It happened to him when he was a little boy. You're an adult. You're safe. His life won't happen to you and you are not helpless. You are just filled with opinions, rage, fear and condemnation. This whole story is pathetic. His life was over before he was born. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for judging people so harshly. Your luck was also an accident of birth.

All about Eve said...

People! Nobody is saying that we should let him go but can't we place him in a SECURE, mental facility where he can get help?

Lori said...

@CubanMermaid- THANK YOU!

It completely sounds like it was accidental and that the mother utilized poor judgement (in more than just this instance) and her child died because of it.

Additionally, children who are victims of abuse can also abuse at a young age, but very rarely abuse again. generally it is more of an acting out what has been done to them than an actual pathological urge (as in the primary abuser)

@SusanK- there is nothing that I've read on this case that indicates that he cannot be "saved". He doesnt appear to have symptoms of psychopathology (and is under the age generally used to diagnose), though there are potential signs of conduct disorder in his aggressiveness and inappropriate sexual actions (again, which may just be mirroring). Often when children become adults and they have fully formed pre frontal cortexes, they cease to engage in some of the behaviors consitant with conduct disorder, as well. Until then, they are not able to think as rationally, plan, or control impulses. It is possible that his actions are due to a combination of being a child (with a pre frontal cortex which has not reached maturation and is unable to handle executive functions), the stress of caring for many very young children, sexual and physical trauma/abuse, and lack of proper parenting (social models/ positive reinforcement).

Btw...some of these comments and general lack of empathy are incredibly sad.

MadLyb said...

This makes me want to sob my guts out. This poor kid. His poor mom. Just a tragedy all around. Tried as an adult? Jesus, he's NOT a fucking adult. This is unacceptable - and a justice system that tries kids as adults and imprisons them as such is barbaric.

lucretius said...

^^^ agree! This story reminds me of the follow up to the movie "push" called "the kid" talk about horribly sad.

Green Tara said...

I work for a transitional housing program for families impacted by trauma including domestic violence, homelessness, and substance abuse. I oversee services for the children of our adult clients, with a focus on children ages birth to five. I have seen what trauma does to the developing brain, and what happens when intervention is not provided in time (i.e., before the age of six). I have worked with children who have experienced horrors you cannot imagine, nor would you wish on anyone.

THIS child has suffered so much trauma that his mental health and emotional self-regulation are essentially shot to hell. He cannot be on the streets or live independently, and prison will only further warp and ultimately destroy what may be left of his psyche. The only real option for him, and it won't happen under the current system, is long-term institutionalization and forced medication.... which will not happen. He will likely die in prison after enduring sexual abuse at the hands of older inmates. He will probably murder another inmate when he cannot endure any more abuse and snaps. HIs outlook is not sad, it is absolutely horrific.

Lola said...

In regards to Mermaid's post, it doesn't surprise me that the prosecutor has that reputation. The last 3 SCOTUS cases limiting juvenile charges/sentencing were a result of appeals out of Florida.

csproat said...

What yodelay said. And MadLyb....and just about everyone else.

Jesus God in heaven......we have all failed this kid....We've failed as a nation.....

Tuxedo Cat said...

@The Libertine Well, what would YOU suggest, putting a 13-year-old to death????

Tuxedo Cat said...

@The Libertine Are you for real? What the hell sort of utopian dream world do you live in?

You don't want to pay for this child to be institutionalized for the rest of his life? What do you suggest? Killing off people that have unfortunate starts in life?

He's sentenced to life in prison, which I think is as near as perfect a solution as can be attained for his situation.

If a person kills, you lock them up. This is a child who kills and will likely kill again.

Why are you complaining about your tax dollars going toward jail, when the alternative is this person roaming the streets!

So is your alternative to kill every murderer? Is this 2012? In a democracy?

You're the type of person who complains about paying school taxes when you don't have children, or paying road taxes when you don't have a car. Selfish.

Tuxedo Cat said...

@Maggs the Axe Well, Maggs, what would you suggest. I mean something legal, other than killing the child or sterilizing the family?

Chismosa Street said...

@CommaChaser same here. Charles Manson was the first thing that came to mind.

AmericanScrewball said...

This kid needs psychotherapy, not jail time. He is a child. He can still be rehabilitated. Not to take away from his crimes, but he needs help. I wish him the best.

Amills said...

Although this is tragic he's not the victim in this attack. Everyone failed in this and his case should be studied to put standards in place to make sure this doesn't happen. There were two many events that happened in this kids life that brings to question why was he still with his mother. His family was clearly unfit. FYI: Even if convicted he wouldn't go to prison until he turns 18, he would be in juvenile detention until then.

Amills said...

@Chris "Society harps on the minority that does so that they feel better about ignoring the majority that doesn't." What do you want society to do? Its not a problem you can throw money and "education" at it has to do with changing the heart. There's enough correlation that show broken homes is the major problem with kids breaking laws, depression, drug use, violence, and suicide. The problem with that is that society has rejected social norms of yesteryear and have decided to go with a more progressive idea of the nuclear family regardless that the evidence supports the opposite. So the hard truth of the matter is this. You either abstain from sex until marriage since no sex is "safe" sex ask the accident babies, kill more babies every year, or leave it as is and see more broken lives.

Tuxedo Cat said...

@AmericanScrewball I believe he needs therapy, lifeskills training, basic school (which he probably hasn't been going to regularly), but the public needs to be protected from him and he needs to be protected from the public. If the judge had sensed any remorse, he or she wouldn't have ordered life in prison. It doesn't matter if he is 13 or 83. If he doesn't understand that what he did is wrong, he will react the same way given a similar situation.

He has five years before going into the adult system. Hopefully he can find even one adult that he can trust to help him through the next few years and make the most of him before he goes into the adult system.

Lola said...

Tuxedo, he hasn't been put on trial yet, let alone sentenced so a judge hasn't espoused any opinion on this child's remorse (or lack thereof).

Tuxedo Cat said...

@Lola Thanks, Lola, I see I was reading a judgment into it that wasn't there....

Rose said...

@Tuxedo, it does matter whether is 13 or 83. Their are reasons you aren't tried until 18 as an adult. The state has to have specific guidelines from the law if they want to try a crime of an 11 year old as an adult.

How did you come to believe he will do this again? This was not premeditated, nor does it appear that he pushed his little brother with an intent to kill. He then called his Mom to say his brother was hurt. She wasted hours not taking him to the ER. An abused 11 year old doesn't have the mental capacity to be tried as an adult for something that, to me, appears to be an accident.

I can't imagine what an 11-12 year old kid, who had been abused in numerous ways, knows to give his brother a timeout to discipline him. I've read various reports to whether he was disciplining his brother or was roughhousing with him. That's not how serial killers make their kills.

Having sympathy for Christian and recognizing that he was also a victim doesn't mean his little brother's death/murder isn't the biggest tragedy of it all.

Tuxedo Cat said...

@Rose

I was thinking that if he were tried as an adult, then he wouldn't go to a juvenile facility. He would go to an adult jail, but he would be in protective custody.

He needs a chance to develop a conscience. A toddler died somehow at his hands, and he sexually abused a younger sibling.

He obviously needs intensive therapy, and I don't know if he would get that in a juvenile facility.

I don't believe for a minute that he will spend his life in jail. I hope he doesn't have to. If he can demonstrate remorse I'm sure he will be released someday.