BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — An emergency physician who pronounced 6-year-old Isaiah Torres dead at Bella Vista Mercy Hospital in 2015 took the stand on Friday in the retrial of the boy’s father, Mauricio Torres.
Dr. Franklin Mayhue testified that Isaiah arrived at the hospital in cardiac arrest with “signs of ongoing neglect and abuse.”
Isaiah’s belly was distended, or rounded, the doctor testified, saying “This was an extremely disturbing picture” and “I never observed any event as bizarre as this one.”
Mayhue said Isaiah’s parents, Mauricio and Cathy Torres, showed a lack of response when the doctor told them the 6-year-old had died.
Mauricio Torres’ attorney Birc Morledge questioned Mayhue, saying everyone reacts differently to grief and that Cathy and Mauricio could have known for an hour that Isaiah was dead and couldn’t be saved.
The doctor testified that he worked on Isaiah for 30 minutes or less before he was pronounced dead, and a nurse had found fresh blood in the boy’s rectum.
Detective Captain Tim Cook with the Bella Vista Police Department took the stand after Mayhew. Cook conducted three interviews with Mauricio Torres following the 6-year-old’s death.
Cook said police had discovered blood later identified as that of Isaiah Torres on the walls of the master bathroom in the Torres home. He arrested the couple for murder in April 2015.
The prosecution played the police interview between the lead detective and Mauricio Torres from April 6, 2015.
In the video, Torres tells police they need to investigate his wife, Cathy.
“She plays dumb. She knows what she’s doing,” he said. Mauricio Torres claimed Cathy didn’t have compassion as a mother and would use chemicals to burn Isaiah.
“Some people shouldn’t have children, especially if you come from a dysfunctional family,” he told the investigator, adding that Cathy never made a connection with her 6-year-old son.
Torres began crying in the courtroom as the video played.
When Cook asked Torres in the video on if he raped Isaiah, he denied it.
Cook explained that Isaiah died due to two reasons: chronic child abuse and that he was raped so forcefully with a foreign object (that wouldn’t bend) in his rectum that it severed his rectum & caused shock to his body.
“Wow. That is a horrible death,” Mauricio Torres replied. He repeatedly denied raping the boy.
“I didn’t do it,” he said.
Cook explained that only two people were supervising Isaiah when the rape occurred: Mauricio Torres and Cathy Torres.
Mauricio stated that, during their camping trip in Missouri, Isaiah was complaining of a stomach ache, threw up, and had diarrhea.
“I thought it was a belly ache,” he said.
Throughout the video, Mauricio admitted to beating Isaiah, but said Cathy did most of the punishment in the household. Mauricio then admitted he used belts to spank Isaiah, and also hit him with an extension cord.
At least one time DHS showed up at the Torres house but found no probable cause of abuse and left, Mauricio explained in the video.
In a second police interview, Mauricio asks the detective, “when there’s a confession and the truth is told, does the process move faster?”
Mauricio repeated his refusal to betray his wife, but said, “don’t let me pay for this alone.”
Then, in the middle of the second police interview, Mauricio confesses that an incident happened in the camper trailer in Missouri near the door.
Mauricio would not tell Cook what foreign object was used to hurt Isaiah.
The trial will resume on Monday (Mar. 2).