He's been called a babyfaced killer, but he's also been called a delightful little boy. Wednesday morning protesters gathered in front of the Duval County Courthouse in support of Cristian being placed in rehab instead of being tried as an adult.
"Kids aren't adults. That's why we have age limits to driving and voting and everything else so it doesn't make sense to try a kid as an adult. We can't pick and choose when kids are adults. Kids are kids for a reason. Their brain development is different," says protester Alicia Torres
Torres spent her day off Tuesday making signs for Wednesday's rally. One of them depicts a teddy bear in handcuffs.
"Just like it looks silly on Cristian, it looks silly on a teddy bear."
Torres says she has a 13-year-old of her own, and when she asked him how much of this case he really could understand, he said "not much."
"He goes, 'Life...so that means that Cristian stays in there the rest of his life and he has the prison guards raising him?' I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'That's messed up."
Torres says her son was classmates with Cristian, and by all accounts he was a very quiet, polite kid who never got in trouble and mostly kept to himself.
Tuesday, public defender Matt Shirk spoke candidly about Cristian Fernandez, the teenager, as opposed to the murder suspect.
"He's really a remarkable little boy...knowing what he's been through his entire life, it's amazing to see how smart he is, how jovial he can be at times," said Shirk.
Fernandez was supposed to be in court on Wednesday, but that was postponed last week at the hearing in which the public defender's office withdrew from the case to make way for 6 high-profile lawyers who have taken on the case pro bono.