DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It was September of last year when a then two-year-old girl was taken to Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, close to death. Soon after the little girl’s mother, Elizabeth Escalona, was arrested — accused of gluing the little girl’s hands to a wall, kicking her in the stomach and beating her over “potty training” issues.
Escalona pled guilty to first-degree Injury to a Child back in July and Monday her sentencing trial began.
Medical experts made it clear the case of little Jocelynn Cedillo was extreme. When asked if her treatment was a case of child torture one doctor responded, “My criteria, yes.”
A former Children’s Medical Center child abuse specialist took the stand Monday morning and tearfully testified about how critical Jocelynn’s condition was when she arrived at the hospital.
“I see a lot of children and this was one of the most shocking I’ve seen,” Dr. Amy Barton told the court.
A prosecutor with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office entered into evidence dozens of pictures of little Jocelynn Cedillo. The pictures, taken at the hospital, showed bruises from the child’s head down to her feet. The injuries included hair torn from her scalp, bruising on her forehead, nose and cheek and what appeared to be bite marks on her body.
In addition to having pieces of skin torn from her hands, Dr. Barton detailed several photos that she said showed the toddler’s eyes had also been glued shut.
Of the little girl’s medical progress doctors said, “She did great. She woke up from her coma and came off the ventilator in two days.” When asked what would have happened if the child wouldn’t have gotten medical attention when she did, doctors said, “She would have died. She wasn’t able to breathe. She would have died.”
It was the child’s grandmother who took her to the emergency room on September 7, 2011. The grandmother is also the person who reportedly helped in the arrest of Escalona.
Escalona had been free on $500,000 bond, but during the sentencing hearing the judge raised the bond amount by $250,000 and ordered the 23-year-old mother back into custody for the duration of the sentencing hearing.
At the time of her arrest Escalona was the mother of four children, she has since given birth to a fifth child.
With her guilty plea Escalona faces a sentence of up to life in prison.