The day before the judge ordered Cristian Fernandez’s release from detention, he was 19 years old. Cristian had already admitted killing his half-brother in 2011.
Fernandez’s case attracted national attention and altered the way juveniles are prosecuted in Duval County.
In Jacksonville’s most recent state attorney election, incumbent Angela Corey, who decided to charge Fernandez as an adult, lost to Melissa Nelson, one of the attorneys who defended the kid, and it also became a contentious topic.
What did Fernandez do?
After being charged as an adult for the murder, Fernandez, who was only 12 when he fatally hit his brother’s head against a bookcase, may become America’s youngest-ever “lifer.”
However, the case has sparked a heated discussion over whether the punishment is excessively severe for a youngster, especially one who was abandoned to languish in a toxic environment full of abuse.
Where is Cristian Fernandez today?
He is currently serving a probation period after being released. He served seven years in prison after admitting guilt to manslaughter in the murder of his 2-year-old brother. He is currently in a probation period. When Fernandez killed his younger brother, he was just 12 years old.
Fernandez received juvenile treatment from the legal system. The current State Attorney, Melissa Nelson, was a member of Cristian Fernandez’s legal team and participated in the discussions that led to a plea agreement that permitted Fernandez to serve his sentence in a juvenile institution.
His probation includes requirements for keeping a place to live and a job. Some of Fernandez’s probationary requirements have been temporarily postponed thanks to a recent motion that the judge granted.
According to the documents, it is still being determined which ones are on hold.
According to the motion submitted by Hank Coxe, an attorney for Fernandez, “Circumstances have developed over the past several months which render application of the conditions of probation, both general and specific, other than those specified herein, unrealistic and problematic.”
We have received no updates from the Department of Juvenile Justice regarding Fernandez’s incarceration progress.
As awful as this case is, according to Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson, the legal parties involved had few options for what is best for Jacksonville’s then-youngest serial murderer.
“You can’t just go back,” Carson said, “even if you imprison someone for seven years, like in this case, you can’t heal it. He was molested when he was younger and, in turn, abused others.”
About Cristian Fernandez
Fernandez was born in Miami, Florida, in 1999 to Biannela Susana, who was barely 12. The father of the boy, 25, was sentenced to 10 years of probation for sexually assaulting her.
Authorities discovered the toddler filthy, naked, and walking in the street at 4 a.m. close to the motel where his grandmother, who was watching him, was discovered to be surrounded by cocaine. Two years later, the mother and the son were placed in foster care.
When Fernandez was eight years old in 2007, the Department of Children and Families looked into a complaint that his older relative had raped him sexually. He killed a kitten, pretended to have sex with pupils, and masturbated in front of his classmates, according to officials.
When Fernandez sustained an eye injury so severe that his school took him to the hospital to be checked for retinal damage in October 2010, Fernandez and his mother were already residing with her new husband.
Fernandez informed officers that his stepfather had struck him. When police arrived at the family’s residence, they discovered the stepfather had committed suicide by shooting himself.
The family relocated to Jacksonville in the north, where Fernandez enrolled in middle school and earned all As. They then made their home in a boring, beige public housing complex.