Michael Hernandez, the infamous killer who at age 14 lured a teenage classmate in the bathroom and brutally slit his throat, has died in prison, online records show. Hernandez was 31-year-old at the time of his death and was serving a life sentence at the Columbia Correctional Institute outside Jacksonville when he collapsed and died Thursday.
The possible cause of his death is believed to be drug overdose, which means Hernandez was getting supplies of drugs inside the correctional home regularly. An official cause of death for Hernandez has yet to be given, although no foul play is suspected, authorities said.
Killer Meets Tragic Death
According to WFOR TV report, Hernandez was seen on video collapsing, and two sources familiar with the incident said it appears he may have died from drugs. According to sources, Hernandez was regularly into drugs and may have had an overdose on Thursday leading o his death.
Hernandez had been sentenced to life behind bars for the February 2004 stabbing death of Jaime Gough at Southwood Middle School. Jorge Gough, Jaime's father, told the Miami Herald that he was "shocked" to learn of Hernandez's death. "I was not expecting this at all," Gough said. He said he and his wife still talk about their son, who would now be 31, but "not in a sad way."
Hernandez had planned to kill two friends, Andre Martin and Jaime Gough. However, Martin suspected something was wrong when Hernandez tried to lure him and Gough into the stall at their suburban Miami middle school. The bell rang and the three went to class. The next day, Hernandez again lured the innocent bespectacled, violin-playing Gough into the bathroom stall with the promise of showing him something and then slit is throat.
Unlike a Child
Hernandez stabbed Gough more than 40 times in an incident that shocked South Florida and the nation. Investigations at that time revealed that Hernandez was obsessed with serial killers and had drawn a list of people he wanted to murder. After stabbing Gough he slit is throat.
He then went back to the class with the bloody knife in his backpack. A teacher noticed the blood on hi and reported to the cops. Hernandez tried using an insanity defense at trial, but the jury balked, finding him guilty and ordering him to serve life behind bars.
He was sentenced to life in 2004 but got a second sentencing hearing in 2016 because of a US Supreme Court ruling that juveniles could not get mandatory life sentences. In February of 2016 he said to the court "It hurts me how senseless it was because he was always such a good friend to me and I wanted to apologize to his family and his mother."
Hernandez's death has come more as a shock to even the Gough family. It's not known if they have forgiven Hernandez but said that they still remember their son. "We miss him, and the big question is: What would he be today?" his father said.
Martin is now a Miami-Dade County police detective. He told the Herald that he had mixed feelings about Hernandez's death. "My continued condolences for Jaime Gough's parents, and the entire Gough family," Martin said. "And the Hernandez family — they were not the ones who committed a crime and they did lose a family member."