Wesley Mathews, who was convicted earlier this summer in connection to the 2017 death of his adopted daughter Sherin Mathews, 3, was denied a motion for a new trial Thursday morning.
Mathews' defense claimed the jury in the June trial should never have been shown photographs of the child's dead body, or photos that detailed a history of injuries prior to her death.
The defense team for the Richardson father filed a motion for a new trial last month, arguing that "photographs of the remains of the decedent, both where her body was discovered and in the autopsy suite" were so prejudicial as to deny Mathews a fair trial.
Based on the above, Mathews' defense filed a motion for a new trial. That motion was denied Thursday and now his team is expected to file an appeal.
Mathews pleaded guilty on the day his trial began to the lesser charge he faced, which was felony injury to a child. He admitted in court to not calling 911 and instead disposing of his daughter's body after he said she choked on milk in the family's Richardson garage.
Sherin Mathews was initially reported as being missing in October 2017 the morning after her father claimed he forced her to stand outside, alone overnight as punishment for not drinking her milk. Her body was found 15 days later.
Upon the discovery of Sherin Mathews’ body, Wesley Mathews changed his initial story to the one he presented at trial – the she had choked while he was assisting her in the drinking of milk late at night.
At trial, an investigator with the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office claimed that the child’s body was too badly decomposed body by the time it was discovered to determine her ultimate cause of death. But the forensic examiner testified that neither she nor any member of her team had heard of a child choking to death on a liquid while standing.
Mathews is currently serving a life sentence and will not be eligible for parole until 2047, when he will be in his late 60s.
Mathews’ appeal attorney Brooke Busbee also states that jurors were shown evidence that Sherin suffered "fractures from before she died. There was no evidence" that linked Mathews to the injuries and "introduction of that evidence unfairly prejudiced the jury."