Wesley Mathews, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing injury to Sherin.

Wesley Mathews adoptive father accused of murdering Sherin in Texas pleads guilty
news Child abuse Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 09:28

Wesley Mathews, the adoptive father of Sherin Mathews – the three-year-old who was found dead in a Texas culvert in 2017 – has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in his sentence. At his trial for murder, which happened on Monday, Wesley pleaded guilty on charges of causing injury to the child by omission. This charge comes with a lighter sentence than capital murder and tampering with evidence – the other charges against him.

Wesley, who hails from Kerala, had been charged with capital murder after his special needs adoptive daughter was found dead. If he is convicted under this charge, he faces the possibility of a life sentence without parole. However, having pled guilty to first-degree injury to a child by omission, Wesley may get probation or life imprisonment with possibility of parole after three decades.

His guilty plea was apparently not a deal with the prosecutors or a bargain. 

Wesley and his wife Sini, who were natives of Kerala, adopted Sherin from an orphanage in Bihar in July 2016. Sherin disappeared in October 2017, and Wesley initially claimed that he had sent her out in the wee hours of the morning on October 6 that year as punishment for not drinking her milk. On October 22, 2017, Sherin’s body was recovered from a culvert under a road about a kilometre from the Mathews’ home. The cause of Sherin’s death could not be investigated as the body had decomposed.

Wesley later changed his version, claiming that when he tried to “physically assist” her in drinking milk, and Sherin had choked on the drink. He also admitted that the family had gone out to dinner and left Sherin behind a day before she died.

Wesley was indicted for capital murder by a grand jury and for tampering with evidence.

In March earlier this year, Wesley’s wife Sini was released after 15 months in jail this year due to insufficient evidence against her. The charges against her for child endangerment were dropped as well.

If Sini had been convicted in the case, she would have faced imprisonment for two to 20 years. It is worth noting that because she was dismissed without prejudice, the same or different charges can still be levelled against her at any point in time.

Earlier in April, a court document filed by Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Jason Fine had stated that the prosecutors believe that Wesley is likely to have neglected and injured the child before her death. The document mentioned details of offenses, including one that accused Wesley of injuring Sherin on or about February 1, 2017, with or without his wife Sini’s help, and causing the child to sustain multiple fractures in her arms and legs “to the bilateral humerus, femur and tibia." Sini and Wesley reportedly did not reveal these injuries for at least one week, and the “history provided to doctors was not consistent with how the injuries occurred.”

As Wesley's trial goes on, prosecutors will reportedly attempt to prove that Wesley killed Sherin and then dumped her body in the culvert. However, they admitted that they will not be able to present the cause of the toddler's death because of how much the body had decomposed by the time she was found.  

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