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Mom gets 99 years in prison for gluing tot's hands

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 9:31 pm •  Published: October 12, 2012
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Price argued Friday that if a stranger had beaten Jocelyn the same way, no one would hesitate to give that person life in prison. Escalona had mishandled a "beautiful gift" of a daughter and failed to recognize what she had done, Price argued.

"The 45-year recommendation was for somebody who was going to take ownership of what she did, appreciate what she caused," Price said.

Sending her to prison for decades would protect her children's future, Price argued.

"You can give Jocelyn and her brothers and sister peace," she said. "You can give them peace, so that when they're sitting around the dinner table at Thanksgiving with their big family, they're not worried that their mother is going to come walking through the door."

Defense attorney Angie N'Duka asked for probation or a prison sentence shorter than 10 years. N'Duka argued that her client was a "train wreck" waiting to happen before the attack, the product of a broken home, abuse and a childhood that included illegal drugs and hanging out with gang members.

N'Duka repeated that she did not want to minimize the injuries from the attack.

"They are despicable, but then the question is, 'What is justice for Jocelyn?'" she said, adding later: "Giving Elizabeth the opportunity to be a better mother, giving her the opportunity to get counseling services, will be justice for Jocelyn."

Escalona's five children, including Jocelyn and a baby born after the attack, are in the care of their grandmother, Ofeila Escalona.

Mitchell listened to both lawyers and took a short break before delivering his sentence.

The judge said he believed many of the allegations that Escalona was abused as a child. "And again, outside of the context of this trial, I think even the state would find you to be a sympathetic figure, because they prosecute people for what was done to you," Mitchell said. "But I can't consider that evidence outside of the context of this trial."

He then announced the sentence. A family member of Escalona began sobbing and screaming, "No!"

N'Duka told reporters that Escalona had asked afterward, "What about my children?"

Ofelia Escalona had asked for leniency for her daughter. After the sentencing, she left the courtroom with a solemn expression, ignoring reporters' shouted questions.

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