JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Action News is getting a personal look at the life of a child behind bars.
Twelve-year-old Cristian Fernandez is accused of beating his baby brother to death. A local mom showed her compassion for her son's classmate and went to visit the boy in jail. She's speaking only to Action News about her two hour jailhouse visit.
She says she wanted to take Cristian's mind off the bad and help him laugh for just a little while. "He was looking at us, like who are you," said Alicia Torres.
Cristian Ferdnanez didn't recognize Torres at first. "I said we're here to visit you because we care about you. He said well did you see the news? I said we're not here to judge you, we're here to support you," said Torres.
Torres' older son went to school with Cristian. They were in the 6th grade together. Torres even chaperoned a school field trip before Cristian was arrested for killing his younger brother. "He seemed like he was in shock, like he had no idea what was going on. You can tell by looking in his eyes, he looks like a baby," said Torres.
It was the look in Cristians eyes, that made Alicia grateful that she brought her youngest son along on this visit. "I didn't feel like he was a threat. He started talking to my younger son, and said he reminds him of his younger brother," said Torres.
Alicia says her son's classmate talked about his mom too. "He said he always tries to do things to help his mom cause he was the oldest." Biannela Susana also sits behind bars. "It almost made me cry. He said I have extra lotion. (he said) Do you know where my mom is," said Torres.
Adding to the heartbreak of this story is a child who doesn't seem to know what's he's really up against. Torres says what worries Cristian the most is falling behind in school. "They said I could be here until I'm 21. So what happens. This shows you how naive he is. He said am I able to continue the 6th grade when I'm 21," said Torres. "I hope they see the same thing I see and don't throw him to the wolves. I don't think he deserves that."
Cristian has since been moved from the jail to the juvenile detention center. A plea deal is in the works for Fernandez. The public defender and the prosecutor say they're hopeful they can work out a deal in the next month.