Father of Sherin Mathews indicted for capital murder

Wesley and Sini Mathews

The father of the three-year-old Indian girl found dead in a culvert in Texas, has been charged with capital murder by a grand jury, the Dallas District Attorney said in a statement on Friday.

Mathews was indicted on a capital murder charge and a tampering with physical evidence charge.

Prosecutors said the capital murder charge, which could carry the death penalty, was filed after an autopsy determined his daughter died from 'homicidal violence'.

Mathews previously was charged with injury to a child, a first-degree felony punishable with a maximum 99 years in prison, police in the Dallas suburb of Richardson said.

His wife, 35-year-old Sini Mathews, also was being held on a charge of abandoning a child. According to court records, he told police he had been helping the girl drink milk when she choked, and when he eventually felt no pulse, he believed the child had died.

He now faces life in prison or the death penalty.

"We want to be able to try this case in Dallas County", said Johnson.

Sherin Mathews
Sherin Mathews

A statement from Sini Mathews' lawyers said that the indictments indicated that she had nothing to do with Sherin's death.

Well, investigators won't say if she's cooperating, but she could also do time, possibly 20 years. The local police chief said it's been an intense case for his officers.

According to testimony from doctors at a child custody hearing for the Mathewses' other daughter, Sherin showed significant signs of abuse during the year between her adoption by the Mathewses from India and her death. "I am happy we are in a place where we can bring justice for this child". At first, he allegedly claimed that he lost track of her after kicking her out of the home at 3 a.m.in the morning for not drinking her milk.

Three year old Sherin, who had developmental disabilities, was reported missing by her adoptive parents, Wesley and Sini Mathews, in October.

"We have some information as to what might have happened", Johnson said.

Weeks later, when a search dog found the girl's body in a pipe that runs under a roadway, Mathews came to the police station in Richardson to change his account.

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