Texas mom gets 99 years for gluing toddler to wall, beating her
Elizabeth Escalona, 23, admitted gluing her 2-year-old daughter to a wall and beating her over potty training.
October 12th, 2012
02:23 PM ET

Texas mom gets 99 years for gluing toddler to wall, beating her

[Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET] 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, will be eligible to ask for parole in 30 years. She 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.

"This mom was pure evil, and her children are better off without her," prosecutor Eren Price said after a judge delivered Friday's sentence. "Her five kids now have a chance to lead a productive life."

Escalona’s attorney said that the sentence 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 sentencing hearing, 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."

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.

Price initially offered a plea bargain of 45 years in prison, but Escalona turned it down, the district attorney's office said.

Price said that the judge, after learning more about Escalona during the hearing, was justified in sentencing her to more time.

"Elizabeth Escalona wasn't sorry for what she did to 2-year-old Jocelyn. Elizabeth Escalona felt sorry for herself," Price said. "Those tears on the stand were for her and not for the toddler she tortured."

An attempt to reach Escalona's attorney for comment Friday was not immediately successful.

Before this incident, 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.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Justice • Texas
soundoff (2,261 Responses)
  1. Paul Vrame

    That's all she got why was the judge so easy on her!!!!!!! Then the judge does a stupid move by putting the children with the grandmother who wanted less time for her daughter. These people are sick and that family does not deserve any of the children Like mother like daughter So who knows whee the daughter learned that punishment

    October 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Disgusted

    This young woman deserves to be punished, but 99 years? Really? I think the sentence is excessive and does nothing to remedy the situation. I think she should have her kids taken away, she should be sterilized so she can't have more and then she should get a one way plane ticket to Afghanistan!

    October 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DB

    The sentence is way too harsh. I suspect racism and over eager DA out to 'make a political statement' . Those who are cheering this sentence are equivalent of American Taliban.

    October 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rasheed

    Give 99 years for the same child abuse to a white mother and see a different response from the American public – racist county. Sorry, harsh comment, but tell me if not true.

    October 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beadlesaz

      Not true. I'm white and I don't give a damn what color her skin is. She is a worthless piece of DNA who should be prevented from ever having another child.

      October 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • GoAwayReligion

      Not true. Garbage is garbage no matter the color. Hopefully she dies in prison.

      October 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • paulm5545

      Well, it is a very harsh comment, but I assume you will be able to provide an example of an equally heinous crime where the suspect was white and there was a different response from the American public.

      October 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • IfonlyIthot

      In response to Rasheed – I have a bit more confidence than perhaps you n that other thn radicals (eg KKK types), most of us would want justice regardless of race. Racism remains a problem, but most people do the best they can with what they have...

      October 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • asriva2006

      Seriously Rasheed? Lets look back and see how the "racist" American public felt when nothing happened to Casey Anthony. She was white and everyone, most everyone, thought she should have been put away for life, or should have had the death penalty. Put the race card down Rasheed as there is no use for it here. Pull it out next time something does not go your way...

      October 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lili

      I am Latino, and I think she got what she deserved. The abuse she inflicted on that defenseless child that left her in a coma is unforgivable. Any parent who does that to their child should pay with highest punishement; I don't care if they're white, black, chinese, latino or anything else. Abusive parents are sick worthless individuals regardless of their ethnic background.

      October 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Superiorlol

      No cause for alarm, his need is "Rasheed" enough said...

      October 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Everymom

      I both agree and disagree with Rasheed – but I think the main problem is with CNN's stupid headline, continually focusing on the glued hands! If "all" the mom did was glue the child's hands to the wall, I might agree that the sentence is way too harsh. But in reality, this woman beat this baby nearly to death – the child was in a coma – suffered brain injuries – and who knows if she'll ever be the same. The other point is that she's not REALLY serving 99 years. She's eligible for parole after 30. On the other hand, I think Rasheed has a valid point. If she was a middle class or upper class white woman (like me), no way is she getting sentenced to 99 years, because she'll be paying a smart, expensive lawyer to figure out how to make her look more sympathetic to the court. It's sad but true.

      October 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • stewymichelle

      Quit crying racism that bit– got exactly what she deserved. I don't care what color she is.

      October 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • mab123

      I'm white, and it is true! I just finished reading an article on Jerry Sandusky and he got a max. of 60 years for over 40 convictions. Sentencing has everything to do with race as well as your economic status.

      October 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pol_pot_69

    I think she's pretty hot (the mother that is)

    October 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • GoAwayReligion

      wow you must set a low bar.

      October 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • paulm5545

      Yeah, I heard it's pretty warm in hell...

      October 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. rantsloth

    so much remorse when faced with incarceration. so much remorse when on the stand trying to avoid life in prison. SO LITTLE fcks are given in terms of this woman being of this earth and deserving anything but a cardboard box to eat dog food in, for the rest of eternity.

    October 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Christina

    Since when did these posts turn into a grammar quiz? Are you kidding me? I am certain that anyone who criticizes other people and their spelling must must need a life. I can guarantee beyond a reasonable doubt that you my dear, are not perfect. Anyways, moving on. This story sickens me. That is all.

    October 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. RichardSRussell

    I'm sure the judge was trying to send a message, but the message being sent was probably not the one he had in mind. It comes down to this: "If the cops show up to arrest you, may as well start shooting, because your life is over anyway."

    October 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Val Rankov

    I am a big tough guy. And I cried while watching the video. However I believe that 99 years in prison is too much. The punishment shoud reflect the damage but not our outrage. The girl will recover the mom will not. Five years would have been perfectly enough for the lady to soak in her guit and tame the devil inside. She already showed some realization of what had hapened. Too cruel punisment, too emotional, one life completely wasted. Justice was not served today.

    October 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mindy

      The girl will NEVER recover emotionally. What a stupid thing to say. Sounds like you could use five years in prison for being stupid.

      October 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Absolutely. People overreact when it's children who are the victims and let emotions overrule logic. Just check out the comments for the article on the Colorado girl who was murdered and you'll find countless replies where people are fantasizing about doing all sorts of equally-disgusting things to the murderer, as if that's how our justice system is supposed to work.

      October 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Val Rankov

      Mindy, please prove to me that the girl will never recover. Do you want me to prove to you that no one can recover from 99 years in prison?

      October 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Val Rankov

      Jim, did you notice the connection between what she did and what the justice system did to her? She had the power and decided that her daughter peeing in her pants deserved to be punished by beating. The Judge had the power and decided that her outrageous actions must be punished by practiaclly taking her life away. Who is the good guy here? Are we trying to cruelize the society? Judjing by some comments we already did.

      October 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      I agree the sentence was too harsh. What she did was really, really bad and deserves punishment. But she also needs counseling. That, and her kids taken away from her, plus some years in jail would have been enough. I've seen lighter sentences for people who do worse to their kids, including killing them. Some people are not equipped to deal with kids, and she went way overboard, basically into a psychotic rage, but what she needs most is help, counseling and rehabilitation, not just 99 years in jail. She can be helped.

      October 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • kbwizard

      5yrs? Dude 25 maybe. There is a black women in Florida doing 20 with NO chance of parole for shooting in the direction of a abusive Ex.

      October 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rodboy

      That life was wasted before this happen, you make the assumption life would be better if she was allwed to get out early, the goal is to keep her locked up until after the change of life.

      October 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. IfonlyIthot

    In response to Raheed – racism remains a significant problem, yes. I live nea the Trayvon Martin murder and see it firsthand. That being said, it is also true that most of us know evil when we see it, and this story is of evil. Most people would say the same regardless of the race of the mother.

    October 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mhklein

    Lengthy incarceration is a necessary evil, with emphasis on "evil". We should be extremely reluctant to impose it on anybody, imposing it only for sufficient cause. If this mother caused her child permanent brain damage, a long prison sentence is indeed called for. But 99 years? That should be reserved for murder. I think 20 years with probation after 8 would be more than sufficient.

    October 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Epidi

    That poor baby. And the other kids too. OMG – what a monster.

    October 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bryan

    Texas is an awful place....I wish we could just bomb it and be done with those losers

    October 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lashea

      Can you be more elaborate on why Texas is an awful place? Personal experience?

      October 15, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dean

    There are some folks above that say we may be racist and I have to question whether this may be true. She gets 99 years. What did Sandusky get – 30 – 60?

    October 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TJ

    There is nothing just, impartial, or fair about our justice system; it's an arbitrary joke. This woman for example gets 99 years for torturing a 2 year-old (who's still alive), while George Huguely, a former University of Virginia lacrosse player, was sentenced in August to just 23 years in prison for the beating death of his ex-girlfriend, Yeardley Love.

    On the other hand, Texas has put numerous people to death this year for killing a single individual, while Gary Ridgeway(the Green River Killer) is serving a life sentence for killing more than 50 women.

    October 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
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