[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."
Escalonaâ€™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.
If her mother raised her by treating her bad, than she in turn was doing the same to her kids, why would they allow the grandmother to have custody of the kids. Am I missing something????
maybe the fact you read the story wrong. She beat her mother before she had kids. When she had kids she beat her kids.
Does anyone else think the judge should have taken the prosecution's recommendation of 45 years? I mean, what is the point of pleading guilty and accepting culpability if the judge is just going to double the sentence anyway. Not that I feel sorry for her. Her crime was particularly heinous.
People like this are justification of extermination. Just a pus filled lump in society...........
Why put these children with the grandmother without first investigating if this is where her daughter learned to abuse her children? 99 years isn't long enough, what a monster.
may God be with this poor child, n he will the more he saves u from horible things speciall from ur own parents thats i believe when he will b giving u greater attention, don even wanne talk about the mom
Her mother believed she only deserved probation, according to the article. And Child Protective Services think it's OK to put the children in her custody?? Seriously????
she's mentally unstable and may be using drugs. im happy she's getting 99 years.
what a nut
Why give all 5 children to the grandmother without investigating her. She did a horrible job raising her own daughter. Safety first and then give to family. Need more people to get involved in fighting child abuse. She learned that behavior from her mother. The cycle will continue. The children need real love and attention. Sever her parental rights and put them up for adoption in good families.
At the exact moment you get a throat tattoo, you also have your testicles/ovaries removed. If you get a throat tattoo after giving birth/fathering a child, any and all offspring are removed from your home with prejudice.
What other restrictions should be placed on people with tattoos in unconventional places? Denial of gainful employment or education? Maybe a caste system, and all the people with tattoos are relegated to city sanitation....because everyone with a neck tattoo is unfit to raise children.
A tattoo is a superficial way of screening for parenting ability. What the individual decides to do with their body does not reflect how they treat their children.
There are plenty of fully tattooed people that are and continue to be excellent parents. Hands-down one of the dumbest statements I've ever heard.
This post doesnt warrant a reply, but 20questions said it right! I have ink, and I happen to believe that I am a great father
Why was she not sentenced to death? What a terrible, sick human being!! Words can not describe what I want to say about this woman!
I realize this crime is sensational, and interestingly CNN has made it a national headline, but the reality here is if the woman doesn't superglue the kids hands to a wall this story never makes the news. I hate the crime andcringed when i read the story, but then istopped and thought about why this is a story. There are hundreds of similar and comparatively much worse child abuse cases in the U.S. and throughout the world that don't get any attention at all. I think CNN in this case, and the media in generall, are guilty of emphasis of the bizarre or unique. It's supermarket tabloid journalism at its worst.
Second observation -why does the woman have 5 kids at age 23? What incredibly flawed decision making power does she have that allowed her to get pregnant at least 5 times and have the children? Welfare bumps? More kids more money from welfare? Religious – good ol Catholic birth control/abortion issues? Maybe, but where is the state, where is social services? I can easily imagine a pregnant mother of 4 with several young kids to try and manage losing it because at some point they are all crying, she is exhausted, etc.. Not defending her actions at all, but can't you see the mess of her life getting completely out of hand? She gets 99 years, maybe that is fair, maybe not. I lean toward excessive. However what about the white collar crimes of Bernie Madoff or the Enron execs, or the BP execs and the oil spills? Don't their crimes effect more people? Aren't they even worse offenders?
Thanks for listening to me rant
Your post was very thoughtful. Also the post that ask the question why are the children with the grandmother without finding out where the she learned to be so abusive. I hate what she did. I hate her. Having said that, some have gotten less time for murder.
I'm scared of her just from that picture! Look in her eyes – they look like great white shark eyes. She really is pure evil. Lock her up!
This is a shocking crime, however, the length of the prison term is completely out of proportion: 99 years, with eligibility for parole only after 30 years. This is a sentence appropriate for pre-meditated murder or heinous terrorist attacks, not for child abuse. A young mother has all kinds of stresses in her life and can still be rehabilitated. She should be prevented of having unsupervised interaction with small children, but a minimum 30 year jail is inhumane and a waste of tax payers money.
You're kidding Harry right? I don't even think 99 years is a good enough punishment for this animal. I wish we could take people like this and take them out back, put a bullet in their head and then people wont have to worry about wasting their tax dollars. This absolutely INFURIATES me to no end.
I can't believe that she is only 23 and has 5 kids already. She was still a child when she started having children. I wonder what kind of a life she had growing up. It does not seem as though she had a moral compass to guide her. It is unfortunate that her child was abused but I can guarantee you that this was not the first incident. She needs some intense therapy as well as major behavior modification. She should be made to have her tubes tied so that she does not have any more children. She should be punished but with some jail time and have a chance to rehabilitate. The damages that she has done to her children will further serve as her punishment. She needs to be able to see that and she won't ever see it if she is locked away.
While thrilled that justice was served for this abused child, I have to say I've seen child molester get less time.
I have seen headlines around the world for this case that say 'woman jailed for life for glueing childs hands to wall'. Reading about what happened AFTER the glueing it now makes sense.