City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office has secured a jail sentence and restitution for the victim’s family in a case involving an herbalist’s care of a 13-year-old diabetic boy. Timothy Morrow was found guilty of one count of practicing medicine without a license following a two-week jury trial last week. Today, Morrow entered a plea of no contest to one count of child abuse likely to produce great bodily injury or death in the same case.
“This case underscores the serious health and safety risks of taking medical advice from someone who lacks a license and the proper training that goes with it,” said Feuer. “These convictions send a strong message that my office will continue to hold accountable those whose actions place lives in danger.”
The court sentenced Morrow 120 days in county jail; 48 months of summary probation; and a $5,000 fine. The court also required the defendant to pay restitution to the victim’s family for all funeral expenses; to remove or withdraw all publications and videos that advocate herbs in lieu of medical advice or medicine; to include a legible warning label on all of defendant’s herbal products, and to complete of a one-year child abuser’s treatment counseling program. Defendant also was given a Watson Advisement, which states that if the defendant continues such acts and they cause or lead to the death of another human being, he can be charged with murder.
Morrow is scheduled to surrender for jail on March 22, 2019 in Department 51 of Los Angeles Superior Court.
During 2014, Morrow began to treat the 13-year-old victim for his diabetes by prescribing herbs in lieu of the insulin the victim’s pediatrician had prescribed. In August, 2014, Morrow came to the family’s Harbor Gateway home to treat the 13-year-old victim after he became extremely ill due to complications from his Type-1 diabetes. Shortly before the victim died, Morrow told the victim’s parents not to give him insulin but instead to administer the herbs that he was selling. The victim suffered a cardiac arrest and died the next day as a result of complications from his diabetes. The medical examiner determined the victim would have lived had he received proper medical treatment.
The victim’s mother previously met Morrow when she attended his seminars about herbs.
Residents with similar information regarding the alleged unlicensed practice of medicine are urged to contact the Consumer and Workplace Protection Unit of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office at (213) 978-8070.
This case was successfully prosecuted by Deputy City Attorney Heidi Matz and investigated by Detective David Cortez of the LAPD Harbor Division Homicide Detectives Unit.