DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A jury unanimously sentenced Wesley Mathews to life in prison after he pled guilty to a lesser charge of injury to a child by omission in the death of his adopted daughter Sherin Mathews.READ MORE: FDA Authorizes COVID-19 Booster Shots From Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
The 39-year-old from Richardson took the witness stand Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning where he answered questions about the decisions he made on the night of Sherin’s death.
The original report from Mathews claimed the child disappeared, which triggered an Amber Alert. Her body was eventually found inside a culvert near their Richardson home.
As Mathews’ story changed, he ultimately stated that she died after choking on milk.
“I tried to gently shake Sherin so she would be out of that spell but nothing was working and in a matter — pretty soon her head started going different directions and her head came to a still,” Mathews said. “I truly am sorry. I don’t have words to express how sorry I am to these fine officers, these fine people who were full of love and concern for my baby Sherin and they devoted a lot of time and effort and I could have easily stopped that.”
During his time on the witness stand, Mathews also addressed questions about why he didn’t immediately tell his wife, Sini, or police about what happened. He was also frequently asked about the lies he told authorities during the investigation.
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Mathews admitted to putting Sherin’s body inside a bag and into the culvert. When shown the bag that Sherin was in, Mathews testified it was a “blue” bag rather than a “trash” one, which prosecutors continually called.
He also took issue with the prosecutors saying he “dumped” her body, and he called the culvert “a place to protect her body.”
On Wednesday, he referred to the way he handled Sherin’s death as a “mistake” due to not seeking the proper help.
Prosecutor: “When you caused her death you keep referring to it as a mistake. Right?” Mathews: “It was an accident.” Prosecutor: “Was it a mistake or no?” Mathews: “It was a mistake not seeking adequate medical help.”
Authorities on Tuesday testified that there were a lot of red flags and suspicion about the case involving the Richardson man. He had been accused of murder and was read his rights during a police interrogation.
The defense rested shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday. Prosecutors began their closing arguments just before the lunch hour.
Mathews’ wife, Sini, was initially charged with child endangerment during the investigation, but those charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.MORE NEWS: Arlington Police Officer Shoots, Kills Suspect Who Allegedly 'Drove Directly Towards Officer'
She was seen — her face stoic — exiting the courtroom after Judge Amber Givens-Davis read the jury’s decision.