DALLAS – Elizabeth Escalona, the mother who super-glued her 2-year-old daughter’s hands to a wall, is being cross-examined Thursday. In a courtroom so packed that deputies had trouble closing the doors, Escalona testified below a large screen with the word “LIAR” projected onto it by the prosecution.
During testimony in the afternoon, the prosecution changed the screen to say "MONSTER."
The 23-year-old mother has admitted to attacking her 2-year-old daughter as punishment for having problems with potty training. This is the sentencing portion of the trial. She faces life in prison.
When cross examination began Thursday, prosecutor Eren Price asked Escalona why she was crying. Tearfully, she said that she lied to doctors and experts assigned to the case. That's when Price projected the word "LIAR" above Escalona's head with the words "with reason" under it.
Under the screen sat images of Escalona's abused child.
The 23-year-old admitted to doing drugs and drinking while out on bond for a felony charge. At the time, she was pregnant with her fifth child. She admitted to smoking marijuana while eight months pregnant.
"But you're not a monster?," Price then asked. During testimony Wednesday, Escalona argued that she wasn't a monster and could change.
On Wednesday, family members testified that Escalona was abused as a child and by her boyfriends. The mother expressed remorse for the abuse, saying, "She didn't deserve this."
During cross-examination, Escalona said she started smoking marijuana at age 13 and using cocaine at age 17. She told the court the bartending job where she worked as a teenager made using cocaine a requirement.
In 2007, two of Escalona's children were taken from her by Child Protective Services, she testified. Escalona left Mexico while her mother watched the children.
After the court reconvened at 1:30 p.m., Price immediately pressed Escalona for specifics about the abuse. She asked what stresses caused her to nearly kill her daughter –– money and her husband, Escalona replied.
Price brought up a Facebook posting that read, "why does God put obstacles in my life?" on the morning of the abuse.
"You were on Facebook when your daugher was dying in a hospital," Price said.
Escalona later said she did not torture her daughter, although she admitted to kicking, hitting and gluing her hands. She broke down crying after the prosecution asked her to count the bruises her daughter suffered when she kicked her.
Price showed her a graphic photo of the bruises all over her daughter's body. Escalona cried and asked her to stop. She said she couldn't recall large portions of that day and doesn't remember using her hands, shoe or belt to hit Jocelyn.
Escalona said she didn't recall where she got the superglue to glue her child's hands to the wall. She said she didn't know why she did it.
Price then had her hold a bottle of super glue in her hand.
"A monster did this," Price said. "A monster bit this child all over her body."
The sentencing portion of Escalona's trial continues Thursday. She faces up to life in prison, but the prosecution is seeking a 45-year sentence. She pled guilty to the abuse in July.