DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The adoptive mother of a 3-year-old whose body was found in a culvert in 2017 was in a Dallas courtroom this morning.
Sini Mathews, who is charged with abandoning or endangering a child, was arrested more than a year ago. She went before Judge Amber Givens-Davis seeking to have her bond, which was originally set at $250,000 and reduced to $100,000 in November of 2018, reduced even further.
Attorneys representing Mathews had wanted her bond reduced to $2,500 but after hearing from the prosecution, defense and briefly from witnesses, Judge Givens-Davis ruled, “Taking into consideration the evidence presented today by way of testimony as well as exhibits, the court is denying the defendant’s request to reduce the bond. The bond will remain at $100,000.”
Mathews is the mother of toddler Sherin Mathews. It was in October of 2017 when Sherin was reported missing. The child’s adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, had said she disappeared after he sent the little girl outside at 3 a.m., to stand by a tree, as punishment for not drinking her milk.
It wasn’t until two weeks later when the little girls body was found. After that discovery Wesley changed his story, claiming he “physically assisted the 3-year-old girl in drinking the milk” and that the toddler choked and after coughing for a while her breathing slowed. Wesley Mathews is charged with capital murder.
The charges against Sini Mathews center around investigators belief that on the night before the child was reported missing the woman left Sherin home alone for more than an hour, while the rest of the family went to a restaurant in Garland and ate dinner.
According to a police report, a dinner receipt showed one child’s meal was purchased and the waiter remembered only one child with Sini and her husband. The child with the couple is believed to have been their then 4-year-old biological daughter.
During Thursday’s hearing attorneys for the state stressed those facts as one of the reasons Mathews shouldn’t have her bond reduced. “We don’t know exactly what time she [Sherin] was killed,” said prosecutor Jason Fine. “We know, based on this charge, and why it is a 2nd degree is because a reasonable person would believe that placing a child in that position would expose the child to imminent danger of bodily injury, or death, or physical or mental impairment. And in this case Sherin did die. You can’t ignore that fact.”
When Judge Givens-Davis asked why the defense had not presented any proof as to Sini Mathews financial status as it pertained to her bond being reduced, the attorney representing the woman claimed there had been threats made against members of the Mathews family.
“The reason that we cannot obtain any records regarding that is because the family has been intimidated by the Indian government so no one will step forth to help Mrs. Mathews do anything,” said defense attorney Philip Parker. “We could not get anybody from the family to testify on her behalf. We could not get any records from the family and her husband as you know is incarcerated.”
In court today, prosecutors did request that if Sini Mathews is able to post the $100,000 bond that she also be required to wear an ankle monitor and be confined to house arrest. The request was granted.
A trial date has not been set for Sini Mathews.
Article originally published in dfw.cbslocal.com on Jan 17, 2019