The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

October 12, 2012

Mom who glued child's hands to wall gets 99 years

DALLAS — A mother who admitted to beating her 2-year-old daughter and gluing the child's hands to a wall was sentenced to 99 years in prison Friday, despite pleas for leniency because she was no longer the "monster" who committed the attack.

"I will never forgive myself for what I did to my own daughter," said Elizabeth Escalona, who pleaded guilty in July to felony injury to a child.

She had faced probation to life in prison. Prosecutors sought 45 years behind bars. A state district judge decided her sentence Friday.

Police say Escalona lost her temper last year with Jocelyn Cedillo over potty training problems. Escalona beat and kicked Jocelyn before sticking her hands to an apartment wall using an adhesive commonly known as Super Glue. The child was hospitalized for days.

During the sentencing hearing earlier this week, defense attorney Angie N'Duka asked Escalona what she thought of photos that prosecutors presented earlier this week showing her daughter's injuries.

"Only a monster does that," Escalona responded.

N'Duka then asked Escalona whether she thought she was a monster. "When that happened, I was," Escalona replied.

Escalona asked Mitchell for an opportunity to show she had changed, adding that she would accept any sentence as fair.

"I want everybody to know I'm not a monster," Escalona said. "I love my kids."

Escalona admitted to hitting and kicking her daughter but said she didn't recall why she did it.

Prosecutors have portrayed Escalona as an unfit mother with a history of violence. They have played recordings in which Escalona as a teenager threatened to kill her mother. They said she was a former gang member who started smoking marijuana at age 11.

Her sentencing hearing is scheduled to resume Thursday.

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