Against lawyer's advice, mom who glued tot's hands testifies

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

WFAA

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 11:42 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 10 at 11:43 PM

DALLAS -- Elizabeth Escalona took the stand against her attorney's advice Wednesday during the punishment phase of her trial.

She told the judge what she did to her two-year-old daughter, Jocelyn Cedillo.

"I kicked her, I hit her," Escalona said, crying. "I kicked her constantly."

Escalona faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty in July to attacking her daughter last September. From the stand, she talked about beating her daughter black and blue, and said she recalled gluing the girl's hands to the wall as her other children watched. Escalona is a mother of five.

"I'm not a monster," she said. "I'm not what everyone thinks I am."

Friends and family of Escalona also testified, asking the judge to sentence the mother to probation.

Police say Escalona did all this because she was angry that the child soiled her pants. Escalona testified that she and the girl's father had an argument about money the day before the incident. When asked on the stand why she glued Cedillo's hands to the wall, the mother said she couldn't recall.

Escalona said instead of getting her daughter help, she called family members to come get the child and then fled.

Her sister, Margaret Escalona, recalled holding Jocelyn.

"She looked like she was dying in my arms," Margaret Escalona said.

Margaret Escalona said she didn't think her sister was capable of hurting her child. Family frantically looked for Elizabeth Escalona the day of the crime while her daughter was in critical condition, but Elizabeth was no where to be found and never went to the hospital.

Yet her family spent Wednesday afternoon talking about Escalona being a good mother, and how she was abused as a child by men and later by boyfriends.

Elizabeth Escalona did express remorse about what she did to her daughter.

"She didn't deserve this," Escalona said.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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