DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas County jury took a little more than three hours to reach its unanimous decision on a life sentence for Wesley Mathews, who pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of injury to a child in the death of his daughter, Sherin Mathews in October 2017.
Richardson Police tweeted shortly after the life in prison sentence for Wesley Mathews Wednesday, “We feel justice has been served with today’s verdict of life in prison given to Wesley Mathews by a jury of his peers. We would like to thank the law enforcement agencies and civilian partners for the resources and time spent on this case. We will always remember Sherin Mathews.”
Mathews could have received as little as probation.
Prosecutors called this justice for a tiny little girl who had no one to stand up for her during her 3 years of life.
They said Mathews’ multiple lies finally caught up with him.
“I think the entirety of everything, I think his statements that he just kept lying over and over and over and even on the stand from yesterday to today, he changed his his stories at some point it just becomes too much,” said prosecutor Jason Fine.
“Mr. Matthews is obviously saddened by the verdict,” said his defense attorney Rafael De La Garza. “Anybody would be, but he knows the jury he respects the jury‘s decision and he’s going to weigh out his options.”
Mathews showed no visible emotion when the judge read the jury’s decision.
His wife Sini left the courtroom without comment pushing cameras out of the way, she is Sherin’s adoptive mother.
This decision ends a long day that started with Mathews being cross examined by prosecutors who casted doubt on his story that the little girl who was adopted from an orphanage in India choked to death while drinking milk.
Her father maintained he stuffed her body in a bag and left it in a nearby culvert out of fear.
Defense attorneys asked the jury to show mercy on the father who they claim loved his daughter.
After the trial, Dallas County District Attorney John Cruezot called the punishment fitting while defense attorneys hinted at an appeal.
“He’s articulate but obviously the story and his explanation did not go well with the jury and that’s why he entered a plea of guilty and obviously the facts of the case in the jury’s mind called for life sentence,” said Cruezot.
De La Garza countered, “I feel like a life sentence is a cruel and usual punishment. but that’s my feeling, but I know that the Texas constitution of the federal constitution does have some provisions there and my job as his attorney is to provide him with every opportunity I can if he chooses to appeal.”
Mathews was ordered to start serving his time immediately.
He will be eligible for parole in 30 years and will be given credit for time served.