The Latest: Texas trial over death of child moves to jury

2 years 3 months 1 day ago Wednesday, June 26 2019 Jun 26, 2019 June 26, 2019 12:01 PM June 26, 2019 in News - AP Texas Headlines

DALLAS (AP) - The Latest on the trial of a Dallas-area man in the death of his 3-year-old daughter (all times local):

1 p.m.

A jury in Dallas has begun deliberating whether to sentence a 39-year-old man to life in prison over the 2017 death of his 3-year-old daughter, who he claims choked on milk before he panicked and placed her body in a culvert.

Closing arguments concluded Wednesday in the punishment phase of the trial for Wesley Mathews before the case was sent to the jury for deliberations.

Prosecutors say Mathews has lied about how Sherin Mathews died and shown no remorse over the death of his daughter, who was adopted from an orphanage in India.

Defense attorney Rafael De La Garza asked jurors to impose a lesser punishment because the child's death was the result of inaction by her father.

De La Garza says the prosecution was unable to call one witness who ever saw Mathews mistreat his daughter.

11:45 a.m.

A Texas man has testified that he was paralyzed by fear when his daughter went limp after choking on milk, and he decided to dump her body in a culvert near their home.

Thirty-nine-year-old Wesley Mathews of Richardson, Texas, testified Tuesday in the punishment phase of his Dallas trial that he panicked when he couldn't resuscitate 3-year-old Sherin Mathews. Her body was found about two weeks later.

Mathews told investigators Sherin was underweight and he occasionally had to force her to drink milk for nourishment.

A medical examiner testified that it's unlikely a child could choke to death on milk.

The trial resumed Wednesday. Mathews faces life in prison.

He was charged with capital murder but pleaded guilty Monday to a lesser charge of injury to a child by omission.

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