The other huge trials that were in the same courtroom as Gabriel Fernandez case

The ninth floor of the Los Angeles criminal courts is notorious for high profile cases


In the first episode of the Netflix documentary The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez it is introduced that the trial for the eight-year-old’s murder took place in a ninth floor courtroom of Los Angeles County Criminal Courts. The ninth floor here is reserved for the most high profile cases in the area.

The floor famously is the only one in the building where there is a second level of security to gain entrance. It’s where a lot of famous cases, as well as non-famous but sensitive criminal trials take place. Here are some of the other well known cases which were heard in the same courtroom as the Gabriel Fernandez case.

OJ Simpson

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via Netflix

Possibly the most famous case to be heard in the ninth floor courtroom is the OJ Simpson trial. Former NFL player, broadcaster, and actor OJ Simpson was tried on two counts of murder for killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman.

He was acquitted in 1995 in one of the most notorious criminal trials in American history.

Conrad Murray

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via Netflix

Also heard there was the trial of Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s doctor, who was charged with the involuntary manslaughter of the star.

Murray was accused of giving Jackson an overdose of the general anaesthetic propofol, which led to his death. Murray was found guilty in 2011 and sentenced to four years. He was released in 2013 after serving two years in prison.

Leonard Hall Jr and Marcus Denson

Leonard Hall Jr and Marcus Denson were tried in the ninth floor courtroom over the shooting of five-year-old Aaron Shannon Jr.

Hall and Denson were accused members of the Kitchen Crips gang, and were accused of shooting and killing five-year-old Aaron on Halloween night as he showed off his Spiderman costume. Los Angeles Times reports they “were gang members who had crossed into a rival gang’s territory, looking to shoot somebody.”

26-year-old Leonard Hall was found guilty of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. Marcus Denson admitted he had a role in the incident but said he was not the gunman. Hall was sentenced to 128 years to life in prison and Denson was sentenced to nearly 25 years in prison.

Phil Spector

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via Netflix

The murder trial of music producer, Phil Spector, also took place on the ninth floor. He was sentenced to between 19 years and life for the murder of actress, Lana Clarkson.

Christian Gerhartsreiter

Christian Gerhartsreiter is a convicted murderer and impostor. He used the identity “Clark Rockefeller”, claiming to be part of the noted Rockefeller family. He used more fake identities such as Chris C. Crowe, Chris Chichester, and Chip Smith.

He was convicted of custodial kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and first-degree murder. The kidnapping sentence was over the abduction of his daughter when he drove off with her after a supervised visit. The social worker who came to collect his daughter was dragged along by the car, which is the reason behind the assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (the car) charge.

In 2011, Gerhartsreiter was charged with the murder of Jonathan Sohus. He was convicted of first-degree murder on April 10th, 2013.

The Grim Sleeper

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via Netflix

The trial of Lonnie Franklin David Jr, also known as The Grim Sleeper serial killer, was heard on the ninth floor of Los Angeles County Criminal Courts. He was tried over at least 10 murders and one attempted murder. His trial was in 2016 and ended in him being sentenced to death.

He got his nickname because he appeared to take a 14-year gap in his crimes. His is currently on death row at San Quentin State Prison. This is the same death row where Isauro Aguirre, the boyfriend of Pearl Fernandez and who killed Gabriel Fernandez, is also awaiting his death.

The Avenues Street Gang

The Avenues is a Mexican/Mexican American criminal street gang which are found mostly in Los Angeles County. They are also referred to as the Mexican Mafia. Members of the gang are among Los Angeles’ most wanted gang members.

It’s been reported that crimes of The Avenues Street Gang have been heard in the notorious ninth floor courtroom. Their crimes include hate crime murders and racketeering.

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez: Here’s what happened to all of his family

The untold stories of the two other boys in the Gabriel Fernandez Netflix doc

The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez: What happened to the four social workers?

Gabriel Fernandez journalist talks about emotional distress of working the case