Wesley Mathews, the adoptive father of deceased 3-year-old Sherin Mathews, used a deadly weapon to commit the crime, the indictment said. “During the commission of the offense, defendant did use a deadly weapon, the exact nature and description of which is not known to the Grand Jury,” the indictment by the grand jury said on Jan. 12, according to the Dallas County, Texas, Court.
The indictment also states that Mathews “did intentionally and knowingly cause the death of Sherin Mathews” on or around Oct. 7, 2017, in a manner and means unknown to the Grand Jury.
On Jan. 12, he was charged for capital murder.
He was earlier charged with causing injury to a child. Faith Johnson, Dallas County District Attorney, had said that the capital murder charge is punishable by life sentence or death penalty.
“We can’t go into details, but based on that autopsy report, we were able to determine that we can seek capital murder for this case,” Johnson had said. Wesley is also facing charges for abandoning a child and evidence tampering.
Sherin was found dead in a culvert in Richardson, Texas, after her parents had reported her missing. Initially, Wesley said that Sherin was made to stand outside in the middle of the night since she wasn’t drinking her milk, and he later changed his statement to say that she choked to death.
However, autopsy reports revealed that she had injuries in various stages of healing on her body and died of homicidal violence.
The investigators did not mention if they found the weapon used to murder her.
If sentenced to death penalty, Wesley Mathews would be the second Indian American to be given the capital punishment in the United States. Raghunandan Yandamuri is facing death penalty for killing a woman and her granddaughter in a botched kidnapping incident in Pennsylvania. However, due to the moratorium on death penalties in the state his death sentence may be deferred.