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Mom pleads guilty to gluing toddler to wall

Elizabeth Escalona, 23, sits in a courtroom to be sentenced, in Dallas, Monday, Oct. 8, 2012. Escalona pleaded guilty on July 12, 2012, to injury to a child and is facing up to life in prison. A doctor has testified that the Texas mother glued her 2-year-old daughter's hands to a wall and beat the toddler so badly that she suffered significant brain trauma and bleeding inside her skull.

Elizabeth Escalona, 23, sits in a courtroom to be sentenced, in Dallas, Monday, Oct. 8, 2012. Escalona pleaded guilty on July 12, 2012, to injury to a child and is facing up to life in prison. A doctor has testified that the Texas mother glued her 2-year-old daughter's hands to a wall and beat the toddler so badly that she suffered significant brain trauma and bleeding inside her skull.

DALLAS — A young mother of five said she will never forgive herself for beating her 2-year-old daughter because she was struggling with potty training in an angry attack that climaxed with her gluing the toddler's hands to the wall.

Elizabeth Escalona, 23, pleaded guilty in July to felony injury to a child and faces a sentence ranging from probation to life in prison. Prosecutors have requested a 45-year term. Escalona's sentencing hearing was scheduled to continue Thursday.

Police say Escalona kicked her daughter, Jocelyn Cedillo, in the stomach, beat her with a milk jug, then stuck her hands to an apartment wall using an adhesive commonly known as Super Glue.

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

The child was hospitalized for days.

Defense attorney Angie N'Duka asked Escalona on Wednesday what she thought of the photos that prosecutors presented to the hearing that showed her daughter's injuries. She said she had been a "monster" when she attacked the child — for reasons she couldn't quite recall — but that she is no longer.

In pleading for leniency, Escalona asked for an opportunity to show she has changed, adding that she would accept any sentence as fair.

"I love my kids," Escalona said.

"I will never forgive myself for what I did to my own daughter," she said.

Escalona's other children told authorities that their mother attacked Jocelyn because of problems in potty training.

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

Escalona's relatives have acknowledged their dismay and anger following the attack, but both her mother and sister asked the judge for leniency, saying she needed more help, not prison.

"Her being taken away won't help any," her sister, Margaret Escalona, said.

Counselor Melanie Davis echoed these words, saying she has been conducting sessions with Elizabeth Escalona since June — nine months after her arrest — and that she is convinced the young woman loves her children

Escalona "is need of further counseling services," Davis said.

Escalona's five children — including one born since her arrest — are in the care of her mother, Ofelia Escalona.

Comments

FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

Oh brother! "Escalona loves her children." Yikes, she loves them to death, literally.

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VSU 1 year, 9 months ago

She loves her child so much, she glued her daughter to the wall to make sure she wouldn't get away. This woman needs psychiatric help.

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bubbavet 1 year, 9 months ago

The counselor needs the help. "She's convinced"? If that is true, then let her go to jail if it happens again. I'll bet she would change her mind.

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jglass 1 year, 9 months ago

Shame on this mother. If potty training makes you so angry you do this to a defenseless baby you certainly do not need to be around children. And, 5 kids, one born since the arrest. I hope these kids are placed in loving homes. The mom may have made a mistake, but what if she flies off when the newest child has difficulties during potty training? And, I am assuming that the taxpayers of Texas are raising these children.

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Outtahere 1 year, 9 months ago

Well, she is 23 with five children and I didn't hear anything mentioned about the father of the children being around. I have two kids and I couldn't imagine having five - I think I would lose it!!! With that being said, this is a prime example of why you shouldn't have a whole bunch of kids with different men that won't stick around to help you raise them. What she did is HORRIBLE!!!!! How could you do that to your own child?? She's a monster!!

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