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Glued toddler's mom cries at photos of injuries

Associated Press Modified: October 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm •  Published: October 11, 2012
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DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas woman who admitted to beating her toddler and gluing her hands to a wall sobbed Thursday as a prosecutor ordered her to look at the injuries she inflicted on her daughter's body.

Elizabeth Escalona began crying and didn't speak for several seconds after prosecutor Eren Price displayed a photo of then-2-year-old Jocelyn Cedillo during Escalona's sentencing hearing. Dozens of red and brown marks from the September 2011 beating covered Jocelyn's back.

"Ms. Escalona, if you can do it, you can look at it," Price said in a loud, sharp voice.

Escalona, who pleaded guilty in July to felony injury of a child, was on the witness stand for a second day. She faces anywhere from probation to life in prison. Prosecutors are seeking a 45-year sentence.

Police say Escalona kicked her daughter in the stomach, beat her with a milk jug, then stuck her hands to an apartment wall with an adhesive commonly known as Super Glue. Escalona's other children told authorities their mother attacked Jocelyn due to potty training problems.

Jocelyn suffered bleeding in her brain, a fractured rib, 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 paint chips from the apartment wall, witnesses testified.

Prosecutors have portrayed Escalona as an unfit mother with a history of violence, and Price has repeatedly referred to her as a "monster." Escalona has admitted she behaved like a monster when she beat Jocelyn, but insists she isn't one now.

Price asked Escalona what she thought should happen in the case. Escalona replied in a soft, halting voice: "I should be put away." Then, she added, "But I also think I should be given a second chance."

When Price asked her why, she responded: "Because I'm not a monster."

Earlier Thursday, Escalona testified that her children were a source of stress. "They didn't bother me, but I did (need) a little break," she said.

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