The parents of Jaime Gough felt profound sadness when they learned the man who murdered their son recently died in prison.
Michael Hernandez, 31, was serving a life sentence for the February 2004 murder of Jaime Gough when they were both 14-year-old students at Southwood Middle School in Palmetto Bay.
“I started crying and crying," Maria Gough said. "I couldn’t stop crying.”
"Mrs. Hernandez and Mr. Hernandez, we are not happy to hear that your son passed," Jorge Gough said. "Despite all that we’ve been through, we as parents, know how it feels.”
Hernandez stabbed Jaime more than 40 times before hiding his knife in his backpack, and he then went to class.
“I don't know if he had regret before he died, I hope yes," Maria said.
The Florida Department of Corrections is investigating Hernandez’s death. A cause of death has not been released.
“I already forgave, many years ago, before the trial," Maria said.
In 2016, Hernandez had a new sentencing hearing, but a Miami-Dade County judge agreed to send him back to prison for life.
Gough’s parents say they’ve always prayed for Hernandez — and now they’ll be praying for his loved ones.
“I hope God will help them through this," Maria said.
Palmetto Bay named a street after Jaime a few years ago. Tragedy will always be attached to his name, but his family remembers a good-natured, intelligent boy with a bright future ahead.
"And I have hope in my mind, my heart, I’m gonna see him one day, that’s my strength," Maria said.