Man Suspected of Killing Son with Hatchet has Troubled Past

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SACRAMENTO-

Three phrases will likely define Phillip Hernandez for the rest of his life, “the suspect, a man, the father,” said Sacramento Police Officer Michele Gigante.

Phillip Hernandez married Jessica in January 2001. They had two sons. It was the younger boy, 9-year-old Matthew who was allegedly beaten to death with a hatchet by his father Tuesday night.

According to court documents obtained by FOX40, Jessica and Phillip separated in April 2004. It was also in 2004 when Hernandez was arrested on domestic violence charges, pleaded ‘no contest’ and served 120 days of jail time and five years probation.

Hernandez violated his probation and was sent to prison, Deuel Vocational Institute in Tracy, for two years.

During his stay in jail and prison, Jessica had custody of the boys and moved to Nevada. At some point, Phillip gained custody of the boys and enrolled Matthew at Jefferson Elementary in Natomas.

It was in the Natomas home where he lived with his father, older brother and grandmother, that Matthew died Tuesday, allegedly at the hands of his father.

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