A Dallas County jury finds Mathews guilty in the death of Sherin Mathews.
Indian American Wesley Mathews was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for the October 2017 death of his adopted daughter Sherin Mathews.
The Richardson, Texas, resident was found guilty by a Dallas County jury in the death of the 3-year-old Sherin.
A grand jury had indicted the 39-year-old last year for “intentionally and knowingly cause the death of” Sherin Mathews.
The three-year-old was adopted by Wesey Mathews and his wife, Sini, from an orphanage in Bihar, India. She was reported missing by the couple on October 7, 2017, and her body was found in a culvert near their home in Richardson a few days later.
Wesley Mathews initially told police that the girl went missing after he ordered her to stand out in the backyard at 3 am as a punishment for not drinking milk.
Jurors reached a decision on late Wednesday afternoon after deliberating for three hours. Wesley Mathews had no reaction to the verdict and continued to stare directly as the punishment was announced, according to reports.
Sini Mathews, however, left the court quickly after the verdict was announced.
Wesley Mathews will not be eligible for parole until 2049.
The trial of Mathews, who was facing capital murder charges, began on Monday. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge on the first day of the trial and admitted to injury to a child by omission.
Lead prosecutor Jason Fine accused Mathews of being guilty of killing his adopted daughter out of anger. He said that Mathews was angry because the little girl wouldn’t finish the milk prescribed to her as nutrition by a doctor.
According to Fine, Mathews wanted to exert power over the girl. The prosecutor also termed Wesley as a liar. “Great guys and great dads, they don’t stick their daughters in trash bags and dump them in sewage drains,” he told the jury.
Mathews admitted in the court that he had put Sherin’s body in a culvert, from where it was recovered two weeks later in a decomposing state.
RELATED: 3-year-old Indian American Sherin Mathews laid to rest (November 1, 2017)
On Wednesday morning when Wesley Mathews took to the witness stand, several inconsistencies were found in his statements from what he testified just a day before.
Sherin had suffered multiple broken bones during the time she lived with Mathews, even though Wesley denied it.
Timeline in the Sherin Mathews murder case
October 7, 2017:
Sherin Mathews was reported missing by her adopted parents. Wesley Mathews told police that the girl went missing after he ordered her to stand out in the backyard at 3 am as a punishment for not drinking milk.
October 9, 2017:
The biological daughter of Sini and Wesley Mathews was removed from the couple’s home by the Child Protective Services.
October 11, 2017:
The Richardson Police, who conducted a search, along with the FBI’s Evidence Recovery Team, revealed that Wesley Mathews’ 2013 Acura MDX SUV was absent from his residence between 4 am and 5 am, soon after the toddler was allegedly sent outside.
October 11, 2017:
Multiple searches were conducted in areas of interest, using drones, as well as K9s.
October 22, 2017:
Investigators recovered body of Sherin Mathews from a narrow 75-foot long culvert, underneath a road in Richardson.
October 23, 2017:
Sini and Wesley Mathews appeared in court to regaining the custody of their biological child.
October 24, 2017:
Police confirmed that the body recovered was that of the 3-year-old Sherin Mathews.
October 25, 2017:
Wesley Mathews was transferred to the Lew Sterrett Justice Center, where he was under the custody of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. He was placed under suicide watch. His bond was set at $1 million.
October 29, 2017:
India’s External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj sought an investigation into the procedures followed before the Mathews family adopted the little girl from a Bihar orphanage. She said requested the Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi to order an investigation into the adoption of the toddler, whose birth name was Saraswati.
October 31, 2017:
Sherin Mathews was laid to rest at an undisclosed location. “Because of the intense press and social media attention in this case, the family chose to keep the ceremony private so that the focus could be on Sherin’s future in Heaven and not on her tragic death on Earth,” the family attorneys said in a statement.
November 13, 2017:
A family court judge in Dallas ruled to move the biological child of Sini and Wesley Mathews out of foster care.
November 15, 2017:
Sini Mathews was arrested and charged with abandoning or endangering a child.
November 20, 2017:
The four-year-old sister of Sherin Mathews was moved out of foster care to live with a relative.
November 27, 2017:
Dallas County Criminal District Court Judge Stephanie Fargo reduced the bond of Sini Mathews from $250,000 to $100,000. The judge also ordered to put her under house arrest and forced to wear an ankle monitor.
November 29, 2017:
A physician who had treated Sherin Mathews told a court that she had found several bone fractures on the girl. She was testifying at a hearing where the Mathews were seeking the custody of their four-year-old biological child.
December 6, 2017:
A judge ruled that Wesley and Sini Mathews cannot visit their biological daughter, saying they should not have any contact with the child.
January 12, 2018:
A grand jury indicted Wesley and Sini Mathews in the disappearance and death of Sherin Mathews.
June 24, 2019:
The trial of Wesley Mathews begins in Dallas County.
June 26, 2017:
Jurors found Mathews guilty and he gets life in prison.