DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas woman who admitted beating her 2-year-old daughter and gluing her hands to a wall is "not a monster" and deserves probation, the child's grandmother told a judge Tuesday.
Elizabeth Escalona faces from probation to life in prison, and prosecutors are seeking a 45-year prison sentence. She pleaded guilty in July to felony injury to a child. Police say the 23-year-old mother attacked Jocelyn Cedillo in September 2011 because she was mad about potty training problems.
Police records show that Escalona's other children told authorities she kicked Jocelyn in the stomach and hit her with a jug of milk. They said Escalona then glued Jocelyn's hands to the wall with a type of strong 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.
"Only a monster would glue her daughter's hands and give her a brain injury," prosecutor Eren Price said Tuesday during the sentencing hearing.
But the toddler's grandmother, Ofelia Escalona, said her daughter "made a mistake. She's not a monster. She needs help." Ofelia Escalona tearfully asked the judge to sentence her daughter to probation, saying she could be "fixed" and needed to work to support her children. The grandmother now takes care of Elizabeth Escalona's five children, including a baby born this year and Jocelyn, who has recovered.
Prosecutors also played recordings in which Elizabeth Escalona as a teenager threatened to kill her mother. They said she was a former gang member who started smoking marijuana at age 11.
Ofelia Escalona said her daughter was abused as a child and that she should have helped her, though she also said Elizabeth did not tell her about the alleged abuse until a few days ago.
Testimony in the sentencing hearing was to continue Wednesday.