You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

U.S.

  • Alaska pot backer ordered to comply with subpoena
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A campaign-finance investigation is moving forward against an Alaska television reporter who quit her job on-air and vowed to work toward legalizing marijuana.
  • Ginsburg back at home, expected at court next week
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has returned home after undergoing an operation to implant a heart stent to clear a blocked artery and is expected to hear oral arguments on Monday.
  • Immigrants' chances tied to their state's polices
    PHOENIX (AP) — If Christian Avila lived a few hundred miles to the west, he would have a driver's license, qualify for in-state college tuition and a host of other opportunities available to young people granted legal status by President
Advertisement

Mom who glued toddler's hands faces sentencing

DALLAS — A mother who admitted to beating her 2-year-old daughter and gluing the child's hands to a wall faces anything from probation to a life in prison for her crimes.

Elizabeth Escalona's sentencing hearing will continue today, a day after she pleaded for leniency, saying 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.

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.

Judge Larry Mitchell has a wide range in choosing Escalona's sentence: Anything from probation to life in prison is possible. Prosecutors are asking for a 45-year sentence.

Defense attorney Angie N'Duka asked Escalona what she thought of photos that prosecutors presented 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.

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.

Escalona's family has acknowledged their dismay and anger following the attack, but both her mother and sister asked the judge for leniency.

"I wanted an explanation," said Margaret Escalona, her sister. "I wanted to know what happened. I wanted to beat my sister up."

Ofelia Escalona, Elizabeth's mother, said her daughter hit her as a child, but she also said Elizabeth was abused growing up. Both Ofelia and Margaret Escalona argued that Elizabeth needed more help and not prison.

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

Counselor Melanie Davis testified Wednesday that she believes from the conversations she has had with Elizabeth Escalona that the mother loves her five children, one of whom was born after the attack. Davis said she has been counseling Escalona since June, nine months after her arrest.

Escalona has set herself the short-term goals of finding a job and furthering her education and the long-term aim of getting her kids back, Davis testified. She added that Escalona "is need of further counseling services."

Ofelia Escalona now takes care of Elizabeth Escalona's five children, including one child born this year, after the attack took place.

Advertisement