Charges have been filed against a mother and her boyfriend after a child was burned alive inside an oven while the couple was out for pizza.
Police say 25-year-old Racqual Thompson and 21-year-old Cornell Malone, who is not the deceased child's father, left 19-month-old J'zyra Thompson alone with her three siblings, all ages five and younger, who had put the baby in the oven while the adults were out. When they returned around 12:30 a.m. on November 17, they found the baby fatally burned on the kitchen floor, next to the oven.
Thompson and Malone have both been charged with four counts of child endangerment.
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According to the criminal complaint filed with the district clerk's office, Thompson told a police officer during an interview that she left the children home alone for about 30 minutes at 8 p.m. when she went to pick Malone up from work. The two returned and put the children to bed, then decided to go grab some pizza, after which they decided to go visit Malone's brother. Thompson and Malone were gone for roughly two hours. When they returned, Thompson told the officer, she could hear her children crying before she even opened the door. When they came inside, the children were lying on the living room floor, pointing at the kitchen.
According to Eyewitness News, Child Protective Services records showed that Thompson admitted to frequently leaving the kids at home to drop off Malone at work. According to the same records, the children admitted to case workers that they put the baby in the oven while the adults were gone. CPS has taken the children into foster care, since no relatives are suitable caretakers.
In Texas, child endangerment in this case — when a child is left in imminent danger of bodily injury and death — is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Thompson told the police officer who interviewed her that she was eight and a half months pregnant with Malone's baby.