Wesley Mathews, charged with the murder of his adopted daughter Sherin Mathews, will next appear in court March 20, along with his wife Sini Mathews, who has been charged with child endangerment.
The Mathews, who live in Richardson, Texas, were originally scheduled to appear in court Feb. 20, but received a pass. A new court date was set for March 7 for which the Indian American couple also received a pass.
Wesley Mathews, who has been charged with capital murder and faces the death penalty, continues to be held at the Dallas, Texas County Jail, on bail of $2.25 million. A grand jury determined in January that the father had used a deadly weapon to kill his three-year-old daughter, whom the Mathews adopted from an orphanage in Nalanda, Bihar. Mathews is also charged with felony child injury, which carries a maximum sentence of 99 years, and tampering with evidence.
Sini Mathews, who is charged with felony child endangerment and abandonment, faces two to 20 years in prison. She also remains housed at Dallas County Jail, on bail of $250,000.
The Mathews have also lost custody of their biological child (see earlier India-West story here). During custody proceedings, evidence emerged that Sherin had suffered from broken bones and fractures on at least two occasions. She was also badly under-nourished.
A skeletal survey consisting of 23 x-rays, which was completed in February 2017 – nine months before Sherin went missing – showed fractures in her tibia and femur, both in different stages of healing, meaning there was more than one episode of violence and trauma, reported WFAA8 news.
Pediatrician Susan Dakil, who is certified in child abuse pediatrics, said on the witness stand that Sherin was hospitalized in February 2017 and also had an elbow fracture in September 2016. Dakil said the Mathews told her that the September injury was caused by Sherin’s older sister pushing her off the couch.
Sini Mathews, who is a registered nurse, told physicians that Sherin suffered from a Vitamin D deficiency, leading to her broken bones. When asked to testify to that statement during the hearing, Sini pleaded the 5th Amendment, the right to remain silent.
Wesley Mathews pleaded the 5th Amendment in court, when a prosecutor asked him if he had killed his child.
Little Sherin went missing at about 3 a.m. Oct. 7 morning. Wesley Mathews waited to call police until 8 a.m. Sini Mathews’ has said that she was sleeping for the entire time when her daughter first went missing.
The toddler’s body was found three weeks later in a culvert near the family’s home. Wesley Mathews then told police he had “physically assisted” his daughter in drinking her milk that morning, and did not call for help as she started choking. He admitted to removing the dead girl’s body from his home.
Police learned that the Mathews had gone out to dinner on Oct. 6 evening, leaving the toddler at home alone in the kitchen for at least 90 minutes.