Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - In a Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 file photo, Elizabeth Escalona, 23, breaks down as she responds to a line of questions in the sentencing phase of her trial, in Dallas. Escalona was sentenced Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 to 99 years in prison for beating her toddler and gluing the child's hands to a wall. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
Mom gets 99 years in prison for gluing tot’s hands
First Published Oct 12 2012 01:10 pm • Last Updated Oct 12 2012 01:11 pm

Dallas • A Dallas woman who beat her 2-year-old daughter and glued the toddler’s hands to a wall was sentenced Friday to 99 years in prison by a judge who described his decision as a necessary punishment for a brutal, shocking attack.

Elizabeth Escalona did not immediately react as State District Judge Larry Mitchell pronounced the sentence at the end of a five-day hearing. Prosecutor Eren Price, who originally offered Escalona a plea deal for 45 years, had argued that she now thought the 23-year-old mother deserved life.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Mitchell said his decision came down to one thing.

"On Sept. 7, 2011, you savagely beat your child to the edge of death," Mitchell said. "For this you must be punished."

The beating left Jocelyn Cedillo in a coma for a couple of days.

Escalona’s other children told authorities their mother attacked Jocelyn due to potty training problems. Police say she kicked her daughter in the stomach, beat her with a milk jug, then stuck her hands to an apartment wall with an adhesive commonly known as Super Glue.

Jocelyn suffered bleeding in her brain, a fractured rib, multiple bruises and bite marks, a doctor testified. Some skin had been torn off her hands, where doctors also found glue residue and white paint chips from the apartment wall.

Escalona pleaded guilty in July to one count of felony injury to a child.

Price said Escalona would be eligible to apply for parole in 30 years.

The prosecutor repeatedly sought to portray Escalona as a liar, a monster and an unfit mother. She forced Escalona Thursday to look at enlarged photos of the bruises her attack left on Jocelyn.


story continues below
story continues below

Price argued Friday that if a stranger had beaten Jocelyn the same way, no one would hesitate to give that person life in prison. Escalona had mishandled a "beautiful gift" of a daughter and failed to recognize what she had done, Price argued.

"The 45-year recommendation was for somebody who was going to take ownership of what she did, appreciate what she caused," Price said.

Sending her to prison for decades would protect her children’s future, Price argued.

"You can give Jocelyn and her brothers and sister peace," she said. "You can give them peace, so that when they’re sitting around the dinner table at Thanksgiving with their big family, they’re not worried that their mother is going to come walking through the door."

Defense attorney Angie N’Duka asked for probation or a prison sentence shorter than 10 years. N’Duka argued that her client was a "train wreck" waiting to happen before the attack, the product of a broken home, abuse and a childhood that included illegal drugs and hanging out with gang members.

N’Duka repeated that she did not want to minimize the injuries from the attack.

"They are despicable, but then the question is, ‘What is justice for Jocelyn?’" she said, adding later: "Giving Elizabeth the opportunity to be a better mother, giving her the opportunity to get counseling services, will be justice for Jocelyn."

Escalona’s five children, including Jocelyn and a baby born after the attack, are in the care of their grandmother, Ofeila Escalona.

Mitchell listened to both lawyers and took a short break before delivering his sentence.

The judge said he believed many of the allegations that Escalona was abused as a child. "And again, outside of the context of this trial, I think even the state would find you to be a sympathetic figure, because they prosecute people for what was done to you," Mitchell said. "But I can’t consider that evidence outside of the context of this trial."

He then announced the sentence. A family member of Escalona began sobbing and screaming, "No!"

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.