|Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Barry Sorrels quoted in Huffington Post article |
Elizabeth Escalona's 99-Year Sentence For Gluing Child's Hands To The Wall Considered 'Harsh'
|October 18, 2012 11:59 pm|
The 99-year prison sentence imposed by a Dallas judge last week on a mom who glued her 2-year-old daughter's hands to the wall was more than a punishment -- it's an unexpected warning to child abusers across the state.
The details of the physical abuse virtually assured a lengthy term, lawyers told HuffPost. Elizabeth Escalona stuck her daughter Jocelyn's hands to the wall at the end of a brutal beating last year that left the toddler with a fractured rib, bleeding in her brain and bite marks. It sent her into a coma for days. The 23-year-old mother of five exploded in rage because of potty training challenges with Jocelyn, according to testimony from her other children.
In a state known for harshly punishing convicts, District Judge Larry Mitchell's sentence still commanded attention.
The 99-year sentence demonstrates Mitchell's apparent belief that Escalona cannot be trusted in society, especially around her children, observers said. She is eligible for parole in 30 years
"I expect he didn't think there was much chance for rehabilitation," said Barry Sorrels, a Dallas defense attorney. "The facts in a child abuse case can be so aggravated and so horrific that a sentence of life can be justified."
Tapes of Escalona as a teen threatening to kill her mother were played during the sentencing phase, as well as graphic photos of bruises on Jocelyn. The prosecution said Escalona was a former gang member and labeled her a "liar" and "monster."
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