DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas man pleaded guilty to Injury to a Child for the death of his adopted daughter, Sherin Mathews. Now testimony is being heard in a Dallas courtroom as jurors prepare to decide the fate of Wesley Mathews.
Authorities testifying Tuesday said there were a lot of red flags and suspicion about the Richardson father who now admits having played a role in the death of his 3-year-old special needs daughter. Just how much of a role he played is what the jury is going to have to decide.
Authorities testified that they were so concerned about Mathews possible involvement in Sherin’s death that they accused him of murder and read him his rights during a police interrogation.
The first witness on the stand was an FBI agent who described how odd it was not to find any photos of Sherin Mathews inside her family’s Richardson home when authorities were investigating her disappearance.
A Richardson police detective later testified that Mathews waited five hours to call authorities and when he did called on a non-emergency number.
Later, a police interrogation video was played for the jury where Mathews causally talked about his daughter’s problems eating food and how he was trying to get her to drink her milk before sending her outside at 3 a.m. to stand by a tree near the backyard as punishment. He also suggested on the video that coyotes may have taken the child.
Mathews later admitted that he knew his daughter was dead — her body dumped in a culvert not far from the family home — during the police interrogation.
The 39-year-old man’s lies and casual demeanor will all play a role in the jury’s decision. Punishment for Mathews could range from probation to life in prison.
Mathews is expected to take the stand in his own defense.