PALMETTO BAY, Fla. (WSVN) — It was an emotional day for the parents of a teenager who was stabbed to death by his middle school classmate, after they learned the person who took his life 17 years ago died behind bars.
Speaking with 7News on Sunday, Maria and Jorge Gough said they were shocked to find out about the death of Michael Hernandez.
“I started crying, crying, crying. I couldn’t stop crying. It was very sad,” said Maria.
“That was very shocking for us. We were not expecting that at all,” said Jorge.
Their son, Jamie Gough, and Hernandez were classmates at Southwood Middle School in Palmetto Bay.
In 2004, authorities said, Hernandez lured Jaime into a bathroom stall at their school and stabbed him more than 40 times. They were both 14 years old at the time.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the teen’s murder. He was 31.
The Goughs said they want to know what happened to Hernandez.
Because they are people of faith, the parents said, they’re thinking about his family and how they must be feeling.
“I don’t know how they’re going to handle it,” said Jorge. “I just hope that God gives them the strength to go through every hour and embrace themselves.”
In court, prosecutors said Hernandez had made a hit list and was obsessed with serial killers.
One of the people on that list, Andre Martin, is now in his 30s and is a Miami-Dade Police officer.
Hernandez gave a tearful apology in court during a resentencing hearing in 2016.
“For how much pain I caused you, I’m sorry,” he said.
In response at the time, Martin said, “I do not accept the apology. I found it to be not genuine.”
Jaime’s parents said what happened that day in court doesn’t really matter now.
“It doesn’t matter, in a way, if he was sincere or not, just that we were there,” said Jorge. “He said what he said. It doesn’t look sincere, but he said what he said. It really doesn’t matter.”
The parents have a message for the Hernandez family.
“To the family, I am very sorry this has happened to your son,” said Jorge. “Mrs. and Mr. Hernandez, we are not happy to hear that your son passed, despite of all what we have been through. We as parents know how it feels.”
For the Goughs, memories flooded back, as well as dreams of what their son’s own future would have looked like today.
“I envisioned him, like, professional, probably with family already, so many things,” said Jorge, “and so, when we got the news yesterday, everything came back.”
The parents said they continue to rely on their faith to get them through their pain.
“Always, I think of my son every day, and I have hope in my mind, in my heart that I’m going to see him one day,” said Maria.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office released a statement Sunday that reads:
“Jaime Gough’s brutal murder ended a promising young life and forever scarred his family. For them, this news still must tear at their hearts.
I have always felt that Michael Hernandez’s family were also Michael’s victims. Upon his conviction, Michael Hernandez’s family was also scarred by Michael’s actions.
My sympathies to both families.”
As of Monday morning, authorities have not released any information about how Hernandez died.
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