An Indian-American foster father landed in jail after his adopted daughter died. Wesley Mathews has been sentenced to life in prison after ‘pleading guilty to injury of a child after omission.’ After about three days of testimony, the jury at a Dallas County court unanimously decided 39-year-old Wesley’s sentence, read out by Judge Amber Givens-Davis around 3.30 pm on Wednesday. However, Wesley can be given parole after 30 years. Mathews had claimed that his three-year-old adopted daughter had special needs and died after choking on milk, back in October 2017.

Even previously, Wesley had been found of hurting Sherin. In February 2017, he was accused of injuring Sherin and causing the child to sustain multiple fractures in her arms and legs.

An affidavit revealed that Wesley Mathews had asked the three-year-old Sherin Mathews to stand next to a tree near their home in the Dallas suburb of Richardson about 3 a.m. on a Saturday. Though he went outside after 15 minutes, by then, Sherin was gone. Also, his statement that Sherin was choked on milk was proved wrong in the court on Wednesday, when the prosecution cross-examined him. He also cross-questioned Wesley’s claim that Sherin’s body started to get hard after he had been doing CPR on her in order to revive her. Moreover, he also didn’t inform the police till five hours when Sherin went missing. He was arrested on the charge of ‘endangering’ and ‘abandoning’ a child.

In the closing arguments, NBC5 reported that the prosecution said, “This was supposed to be the beginning [for Sherin]. This was supposed to be the man to protect her. He should have loved that little girl and done anything to protect her. He didn’t.” The defense, meanwhile, countered that it was mere inaction that resulted in Sherin’s death, and that Wesley and Sini loved and adored the child.

When Sherin disappeared on October 6, 2017, Wesley claimed that he had sent her out as a punishment for not drinking milk and later on, when he went back after 15 minutes, she had disappeared.

Sini Mathews too was put in jail but after 15 months, was left off because of lack of evidence. Wesley and Sini had adopted Sherin from an orphanage in Bihar in July 2016. Both of them were natives of Kerala. When Sherin disappeared on October 6, 2017, Wesley claimed that he had sent her out as a punishment for not drinking milk and later on, when he went back after 15 minutes, she had disappeared.  The little girl’s body was then recovered from a culvert, one kilometre from Wesley’s house. The reason behind death couldn’t be identified as the body was decomposed.

Wesley later changed his statement that when he tried to “physically assist” the girl 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. He apologised to the police for lying as he was recounting the night. If enough pieces of evidence would have been found against Sini, she would have faced imprisonment for two to 20 years. Even previously, Wesley had been found of hurting Sherin. In February 2017, he was accused of injuring Sherin and causing the child to sustain multiple fractures in her arms and legs. The couple also did not reveal these injuries to the doctor and the reasons they provided for these injuries didn’t appear to be true.

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