Texas man charged with capital murder in death of adopted daughter

Texas man charged with capital murder in death of adopted daughter

A Dallas County grand jury handed down two indictments against Wesley Mathews, 37, the father of Sherin Mathews, who was found dead in a culvert near her Richardson home on October 22. After two weeks of looking, searchers found Sherin's body less than a mile from the house. Prosecutors said the murder charge, which could carry the death penalty, was filed after an autopsy determined the girl died from "homicidal violence". Wesley Mathews later changed his statement to say that she died after choking while he was forcing her to drink milk, following which he was arrested.

Mathews previously was charged with injury to a child, a first-degree felony punishable with a maximum 99 years in prison, police in the Dallas suburb of Richardson said.

After Wesley and Sini Mathews were arrested, the fate of the couple's biological 4-year-old daughter was left in the hands of Child Protective Services.

"We will be tenacious, we will be persistent, and we will prosecute this case to the fullest", Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson said at a press conference Friday. He is accused of killing Sherin Mathews in October 2017. "We are committed to continue our diligent and steadfast efforts to seek justice on their behalf".

The girl's mother, Sini Mathews, hasn't been charged in the death but is jailed on a separate child abandonment charge stemming from when she and her husband left Sherin home alone - the day before the girl was reported missing.

Richardson Texas Police Department via AP File
Richardson Texas Police Department via AP File

"That is absurd right there and then to come back after the body is found and walk into the police department with your lawyer and sit down for a voluntary interview and give a completely different story".

Mathews was being held at the Dallas County jail on a $1million bond.

The adoptive father admitted to police that he disposed of the child's body after she choked on her milk, according to a probable cause affidavit released.

The girl began to choke, coughed and her breathing slowed, the affidavit said.

"Eventually Wesley Mathews no longer felt a pulse on the child and believed she had died", the affidavit said. The punishment for that ranges from two to 20 years in prison with a fine up to $10,000.

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