Jacksonville, FL – What a tragic story in almost every way imaginable. A 12-year-old boy in Florida has been charged with murder, accused of beating his 2-year-old half-brother to death.
There isn’t a lot of details being released in regards to the actual murder. Reports are that the mother of the two boys, 25-year-old Biannela Susana, came home to find 2-year-old David Galarriago unconscious. She cleaned him up and put ice on his head hoping her son would revive on his own. When that didn’t happen two hours later, she finally called 911 and then drove him to the hospital where he would die a few days later.
On Thursday, 12-year-old Cristian Fernandez (mugshot), the victim’s half-brother, was indicted on first-degree murder charges. Prosecutors say he beat his brother to death. Susana was charged with negligent manslaughter for her decision to wait so long to call for help. Doctors say that had she sought immediate medical treatment for her toddler, he very well may be alive today. There’s also the fact that this isn’t the first time the boy was injured by his older brother.
In January, Galarriago suffered a broken leg. Susana initially lied to investigators, explaining the injury was a result of a fall but would later admit to CPS that the broke leg was a result of her older son wrestling with the boy. However this did not stop Susana from continuing to let Fernandez babysit his younger brother, including on that day in March when she would come home and find the toddler unresponsive.
The media has now uncovered some of the 12-year-old’s past history, and I gotta tell you, this kid may be a murderer but in his short time on this planet, he has led one messed up life and just as much a victim as the brother he murdered.
Susana gave birth to him when she was just 12-years-old. When he was a toddler, Fernandez was found naked and dirty wandering in a hotel parking lot. Susana was only 14 at the time, so when the mother and son’s guardian was arrested on charges of neglect and possession of drugs, both Fernandez and Susana were placed in foster care.
Susana would later find a man who would end up abusing Fernandez physically, mentally and sexually. Police got involved after Fernandez showed up to school sporting an eye injury and officials called them to report their concerns. When police arrived at the stepfather’s residence to arrest him, he pulled out a gun and blew his brains out in front of the other siblings. It was after this incident that Susana moved to Jacksonville.
Prosecutors say they have no choice but to charge the boy with murder, and a possible future spent in an adult prison, mostly because they need to protect other people who may be around him. “The juvenile system does not give us sufficient options or enough time. Basically, we would have lost jurisdiction over him in about 8½ years,” State Attorney Angela Corey said.
The boy’s defense attorney disagrees stating that Fernandez has suffered abuse for most of his short life and has never received any treatment or therapy. He feels that that an adult prison will not offer the boy the same opportunities of rehabilitation that a a juvenile facility would offer. You can watch video of his first court appearance below. Fernandez, who is looking at life in prison, will be back in court on Wednesday for his arraignment hearing.