Wesley's attorney argued that he should be allowed a fresh trial because the jury was prejudiced after they were shown photos of Sherin's decomposed body.

Wesley Mathews challenges life term given to him for death of daughter Sherin
news Sherin Mathews Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 10:42

Wesley Mathews, the adoptive father of Sherin Mathews, the three-year-old special needs child who was found dead in a culvert in Richardson, Texas in October 2017, has challenged the life sentence awarded to him by a Dallas country court last month in relation to causing Sherin’s death by injury.

Wesley’s attorney, Brook Busbee, has filed a motion for a new trial in the case. Brook argued that Wesley should be allowed a fresh trial because the jury was prejudiced against a fair trial to Wesley after they were shown “photographs  of the remains of the decedent, both where her body was discovered and in the autopsy suite.” The attorney said that at least two jurors were showed signs of being affected by the visuals.

Brook also argued that while jurors were shown evidence that Sherin had fractures before her death, it did not prove that 39-year-old Wesley was connected to these injuries. Thus, introducing this evidence “unfairly prejudiced” the jurors.

NBC also reported that Wesley will be represented by a new attorney for the appeal – Michael Casillas.

Wesley’s trial saw him admit that Sherin did not in fact go missing, as he had earlier claimed. Wesley, who hails from Kerala, pleaded guilty a day before his testimony to a lesser charge of causing injury to the child by omission. During his testimony, he revealed that Sherin died choking on milk in front of him.  

He also apologized to the police for lying to them about what really happened, and pretending that Sherin was missing after he sent her out of the house late in the night as punishment for not drinking milk. He admitted in the court that after Sherin died, he was the one who wrapped up her body in a blue plastic bag and then found the culvert to dump her in.

Wesley claimed that he had been insisting that Sherin drink her milk the night she died because he was afraid that Child Protection Services would get involved if her health didn’t improve. However, earlier in April, a document filed by prosecutor Jason Fine had stated that Sherin was being neglected in Wesley and his wife Sini’s home, and even had injuries on her body including fractures in her hands. The cause of the child’s death could not be ascertained, because her body was found in a heavily decomposed state two weeks after Wesley left her in the culvert.

Wesley and Sini had adopted Sherin from an orphanage in Bihar in 2016. They have another biological daughter.

Sini, who was facing child endangerment charges, was let off earlier this year due to lack of evidence. She did not testify in her husband’s defense during his trial.

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