An Indian-origin American was jailed for life for force-feeding his three-year-old adopted daughter to death and dumping her body in a culvert.
Last October, Wesley Mathews, 39, had filed a complaint with Richardson police department about his missing daughter, Sherine, above (Credit: Richardson police department).
Initially, he said Sherin disappeared after he punished her by making her stand near a tree outside the home at night for not finishing the milk. Her body was found two weeks later.
Mathews told the court on Tuesday that Sherin was taken to the family garage to calm her by showing the new lawnmower before persuading her to finish the milk.
As she choked on the milk, he panicked and forgot to call an ambulance or alert his wife, Sini Mathews, a nurse.
After dumping Sherin’s body in the nearby culvert, he called police.
Prosecutor Jason Fine said the case boils down to a man’s anger over his malnourished daughter’s reluctance to drink milk, driving him to force-feed her to death.
Jurors were unanimous in their decision to jail Mathews for life.
Mathews did not look at the jurors as the ruling was pronounced and his wife immediately left the court.
He escaped murder trial on Monday by pleading guilty to causing injury to a child by omission.
His lawyers presented videos and photos before the court to counter prosecutors’ perception that he did not take care of his adopted daughter.
But prosecutors said Mathews was a cruel and domineering father when Sherin was alive and a liar after her death. Instead of seeking emergency help, he let the child die and made up a story about her disappearance.
On the eve of Sherin’s death, Mathews punished her by leaving her alone at home while he took his wife and biological child out for dinner.
Five months after Mathews adopted Sherin from India in 2016, doctors said he broke her bones.
Sini was initially charged with child abandonment but her case was dropped due lack of evidence.