Source: A teenager who pleaded guilty to killing his half-brother in 2011 will turn 19 years old Sunday.That’s the date a judge set for Cr...
A teenager who pleaded guilty to killing his half-brother in 2011 will turn 19 years old Sunday.That’s the date a judge set for Cristian Fernandez to be released from the Department of Juvenile Justice.News4Jax contacted the DJJ on Monday for details of Fernandez’s release, but by law, they cannot even acknowledge if Fernandez currently remains in their custody.News4Jax found through records that Fernandez was transferred in August from the Cypress Creek Maximum Risk Correctional Facility in Lecanto to the St. Johns Youth Academy in St. Augustine.Fernandez’s lawyer declined to comment Monday, except to say that Fernandez will not be doing any interviews. Fernandez has been in a state-contracted DJJ facility since 2013, when he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and aggravated battery in the 2011 death of his 2-year-old brother, David Galarraga.Fernandez was 12 when he was arrested in March 2011 and charged with murder in David’s death at the Carrington Place Apartments on Alden Road. He was charged as an adult.Prosecutors said Fernandez beat his brother so badly that the toddler lost consciousness, and medical experts estimated that the boy’s head and face were struck against a bookshelf more than a dozen times.The toddler died at a hospital two days later from blunt force trauma to the head, prosecutors said. Fernandez was sentenced to four years in DJJ custody and was ordered to receive sexual abuse and trauma counseling. He must serve eight years of probation after he is released.If he does everything he is supposed to, he can walk away from that probation sentence in five years, when he’s 24. If he violates that probation, he will face 15 years in Florida state prison as an adult and be placed with other adults, according to court records.
Source: News 4 Jax