Resentencing hearing begins for Michael Hernandez

3-day hearing to decide if convicted middle school killer will get new sentence

MIAMI – Convicted middle school killer Michael Hernandez was back in court Wednesday for a hearing on whether he will get a new prison sentence for the 2004 murder of his best friend when both were 14.

The three-day hearing began Wednesday in a Miami-Dade County courtroom.

Hernandez, now 26, originally received a mandatory life sentence for the stabbing death of Jaime Gough in a bathroom at Southwood Middle School.

The new hearing was mandated because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that juveniles could not automatically be sentenced to life without the chance of parole. The decision was later made retroactive to older cases.

Hernandez stabbed Gough 42 times inside a school bathroom. Trial evidence showed Hernandez was obsessed with becoming a serial killer. 

"It doesn't concern you that your son is fascinated -- continues to be fascinated -- with serial murderers and music that screams out for (Adolf) Hitler," prosecutor Gail Levine asked Hernandez's father.

"I don't see that he's fascinated with serial killers, and just one song doesn't make a man," Manny Hernandez answered.

Michael Hernandez's family also created a profile for him on Loveaprisoner.com.

"I have been locked up since I was 14 and as a result have had almost no meaningful interactions with women," his profile reads.

Michael Hernandez could still receive a new life sentence but would be eligible for parole after 25 years.