Mom gets 99 years for gluing tot's hands to wall

Woman said she was fed up with potty training problems

POSTED: 12:14 PM Oct 12 2012
Elizabeth Escalona

A Texas mother who super-glued her 2-year-old daughter's hands to a wall and beat her over potty training problems was sentenced Friday morning to 99 years in prison, a Dallas County felony records department district clerk said.

Elizabeth Escalona, 23, of Dallas pleaded guilty in July to a charge of first-degree injury to a child, a crime punishable by anywhere between probation and life in prison.

Escalona’s attorney said that the sentence delivered by a judge Friday was excessive and that an appeal would be filed, CNN affiliate KTVT reported.

Escalona's daughter Jocelyn Cedillo was less than two months shy of her 3rd birthday in September 2011 when Escalona used a powerful adhesive to glue her hands to a wall and beat her because of potty training troubles, authorities said. Three other children belonging to Escalona, who was pregnant at the time, witnessed the abuse, according to Dallas County district attorney's office spokeswoman Debbie Denmon.

The child urinated on herself during the ordeal, during which she was hit in head and kicked in the groin, among other forms of abuse, Denmon said.

Oefelia Escalona, the defendant's mother, testified during her daughter's sentencing hearing this week that she found the girl and took her to a hospital. Once Jocelyn was there, medical authorities noticed severe bruises to her face and head, as well as a severe brain injury that led to her temporarily being in a coma.

At this week's court proceedings, prosecutors showed pictures of Jocelyn's hands and bruised body and forehead.

"The entire picture was very shocking," said Dr. Amy Barton, then a child abuse pediatrician at Children's Medical Center of Dallas, choking back tears on the stand on Monday. "I see a lot of children, and this was one of the most shocking cases that I have seen."

Elizabeth Escalona asked for leniency during her sentencing hearing this week, saying she behaved like a monster but deserved a second chance, KTVT reported. Her mother asked the judge to sentence Elizabeth to probation, according to KTVT.

Before this incident, Elizabeth Escalona had been investigated by Texas Child Protective Services but never arrested or charged, Denmon said.

The child welfare agency put all of her children in foster care after Jocelyn was taken to the hospital. All five of them, including Jocelyn, are now in the custody of their grandmother, Oefelia Escalona.