LAPD detective calls Torrance 'herbalist' a 'con-man' during testimony

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In the final day of testimony, a taped police interview of defendant Timothy Morrow resounded in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Friday.

The herbal treatment crusader from Torrance was questioned by LAPD Detective David Cortez about Morrow's bedside visit with Edgar Lopez in 2014. The 13-year old diabetic had been deprived of insulin and died hours later.

"Why do you think he died?" asked Cortez in the recorded interview.

"I have no idea, I have no idea. But they said he had a heart attack - he wasn't having a heart attack when I saw him," Morrow said.

The jury heard Morrow explain to the detective that Edgar's mother, Maria Madrigal, helped Morrow sell his line of herbal products. Morrow said Edgar attended his seminars but was not a patient.

In the interview, Morrow steps back from his online preachings that shots were poison and warnings to Madrigal that hospitals would kill her son.

Morrow had said that Edgar's pain and weight loss were symptoms of Edgar's body about to heal itself without insulin.

"Did you ever give him advice not to take insulin," asks Cortez in the interview.

"No," says Morrow.

In court Friday, the detective told jurors that Morrow's responses were deceptive.

"I would say he was a con artist," Cortez told the jury.

In the police interview, Morrow said that calling 911 about Edgar's wasting away was not any of his business.

"What should I have done? What should I have done," Morrow asked.

"Call an ambulance," said Detective Cortez.

"I can't call. I mean that's invading their privacy," Morrow responded.

The defense counters that Edgar's mother knew the importance of insulin from consultations with Edgar's doctors. Edgar's care was her choice.

The prosecution charges that Morrow went too far dispensing advice, allegedly practicing medicine without a license and that he deterred the family from calling 911.

In that taped interview, Morrow's response about not calling paramedics got a rise from Cortez.

"You have some influence over that family obviously because they're taking your product. They're relying on you for their - rightfully or wrongfully - they're relying on you to treat his diabetes. He's having major problems. He is on the onset of cardiac arrest. A 13-year-old boy is tossing and turning and his body is struggling since it's about ready to die. Ok? So if you see that, I wouldn't be worried about invasion of privacy. I would be concerned about this little kid's life," Cortez said.

The court instructed the jury that many people might have intervened to save Edgar, but this trial is about Morrow's actions.

The prosecution and defense rested. Closing arguments are set for Tuesday afternoon.
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