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No right to live in India if you can't accept Vande Mataram: Pratap Sarangi        Impossible to provide proof of religious persecution under CAA: Assam Min Himanta Biswa        Real problem in country is unemployment, not population: Owaisi        Shabana Azmi injured in accident on Mumbai-Pune Expressway        Dhawan hit on rib-cage, won't take field during Australia innings: BCCI        Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh eyes return to national side        India, Iran should work to expedite Chabahar Port development, connectivity to Afghanistan: Zarif        Forex reserves rise by USD 58 mn to record high of USD 461.21 bn        Putin's, Xi's ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West        Ukraine PM offers to resign after leaked recording        Top Iran leader: Trump is a 'clown' who will betray Iranians        Don't do politics over Nirbhaya case: Kejriwal to BJP        Will probe Digvijaya's phone-tapping claims: Maha minister        Owaisi hits out at Bipin Rawat on "de-radicalisation" comments        Owaisi hits out at Bipin Rawat on "de-radicalisation" comments        Nirbhaya case: Delhi court issues fresh death warrants against 4 convicts for Feb 1, 6 am        Mithali demoted to Grade B in BCCI central contracts        Ponkratov heads Chennai Open chess tournament field        India, US in advance-stage talks to resolve trade issues: Goyal        Gadkari urges states to come forward in the drive for curbing accidents        
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International News
Indian-American adoptive father of Sherin Mathews challenges life term, seeks new trial
 
Houston: The Indian-American foster father of 3-year-old Sherin Mathews, sentenced to life after the toddler was found dead in a culvert in 2017, has filed a motion for a new trial, US media reported, less than a month after he said he would accept any punishment jurors chose. In a case that attracted much international attention, Wesley Mathews, 39, pleaded guilty on June 24 to a lesser charge of injury to a child in Sherin''s tragic death. He was originally charged with capital murder by authorities in the US state of Texas after they discovered Sherin''s highly decomposed body after a massive search that lasted 15 days.

Mathews was sentenced to life in prison on June 26 in the death of Sherin has appealed the sentence and his attorney also filed a motion for a new trial, The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday. Had Mathews'' been found guilty of capital murder he would face life in prison without the possibility of parole. If the motion for a new trial is not granted, Mathews would be in his late 60s by the time he is able to potentially be released on parole. Mathews and his wife Sini Mathews, both hailing from Kerala, adopted Sherin from an orphanage in Bihar''s Nalanda district in 2016.

In a motion for a new trial, Wesley''s appeal attorney, Brook Busbee, states that Mathews should be granted a new trial because the "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. At least two jurors were visibly affected when shown the graphic images, NBC News reported. The images were not shown to the audience in the courtroom. Busbee also stated 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.

" Mathews'' legal team will not go into details at this time as to what reason or evidence they have to petition a new trial, simply that they are "looking at all options," the NBC report said. Mathews has also been appointed a new attorney in his appeal process. Attorney Michael Casillas has requested all records pertaining to the case and trial, it said. After telling the 12-member jury how much he regretted dumping Sherin''s body in a culvert near their home in Richardson city, Mathews testified that he would accept life in prison. "I''m more than happy to take it," Mathews had said. He initially told police that Sherin went missing on October 7, 2017, after he put her outside their home at 3 am because she would not drink her milk. When he checked in on her 15 minutes later, Mathews said Sherin was missing.

He later admitted she died when he "physically assisted" her in drinking the milk and got chocked. He said fear prevented him from waking his wife, Sini, a registered nurse, or calling 911 for help. Instead, he drove Sherin''s body to the culvert and dumped it there. Her body was found by a cadaver dog two weeks later, severely decomposed. Police charged Sherin''s foster mother Sini with child abandonment in November 2017, after Mathews told officials that the couple left the toddler alone the night of her death while they went to dinner with their biological daughter. Sini''s case was dismissed in March this year after prosecutors said they could not prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

Commenting on the plea of Mathews for a new trial, David Finn, who has been a state prosecutor and criminal trial judge and is now a defence attorney, said appeals are granted only for the most egregious trial mistakes. Finn is not connected to the Mathews case. "Motions for a new trial are very, very, very rarely granted," Finn was quoted as saying by WFAA.com. Sherin''s death attracted the attention of the Indian government and the then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took keen interest in the case and also instructed the Indian mission in Houston to make sure that the Indian toddler received justice. India revoked the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) immigration status of Wesley and Sini after Sherin''s death. The government further tightened the adoption process after Sherin''s tragic death.


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ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Want to do age-appropriate roles: Saif Ali Khan
 Mumbai: Actor Saif Ali Khan on Tuesday said he wants to star in roles that suit his age and that mad  
Rachel Bloom to star in PopTV pilot 'Mother Mary'
Biopic on M S Bitta and dance troupe Kings United in works
Spike Lee to serve as Cannes Film Festival jury president
KERALA NEWS
Kerala govt will continue fight against CAA: Minister
 Thiruvananthapuram: A day after it moved the Supreme Court against the controversial Citizenship Ame
Sabarimala all set for Makaravilakku; Heavy security at Ayyappa shrine
Nigerian arrested for duping Keralite couple
Police book BJP workers for raising provocative slogans
NATIONAL NEWS
No right to live in India if you can't accept Vande Mataram: Pratap Sarangi
 Surat (Gujarat) [India], Jan 19 (ANI): Accusing Congress of spreading misinformation about the Citiz
Impossible to provide proof of religious persecution under CAA: Assam Min Himanta Biswa
Real problem in country is unemployment, not population: Owaisi
Don't do politics over Nirbhaya case: Kejriwal to BJP
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