Boyfriend charged in connection with Texas toddler burned alive in oven

The man charged in connection with the death of a toddler who was burned alive in an oven after her sibling put her inside has insisted that ‘he’s not a bad person.’

Pregnant Racqual Thompson, 25, and her boyfriend, Cornell Malone, 21, are each facing four counts of endangering a child.

The tragic incident happened when the pair reportedly went out to get pizza and J’zyra Thompson and her three young siblings were left home alone in Houston, Texas.

‘I’m not a bad person,’ Malone told USA Today in an interview from the Harris County jail. ‘I just made a terrible choice.’

Racqual Thompson (pictured), 25, and Cornell Malone, 21, of Houston, Texas, are each facing four counts of endangering a child    Cornell Malone is facing child endangerment charges

Malone also shared that he’s ‘scared’ in jail.

‘People in here look at me like I killed a child on purpose,’ Malone told USA Today.

One of Malone’s younger brothers told KHOU 11: ‘He’s a good man. Everybody makes the wrong mistakes.’

Another brother said: ‘I didn’t expect the charges to escalate to even be on him because it wasn’t his child.’

KTRK-TV reported that according to court records, J’zyra Thompson’s two three-year-old siblings told Child Protective Services (CPS) that one of them put J’zyra inside the oven and that they made the oven ‘hot’.

According to court records prosecutors filed, Thompson told investigators that on the evening of November 16, she had left her four children, including a five-year-old, alone in their apartment for about 30 minutes to pick up Malone from work.

Later that night, Thompson and Malone, who is not J’zyra’s father, again left the children alone after putting them to bed to get some pizza and visit Malone’s brother. The couple was gone for about two hours.

‘Mr. Malone stated that when they returned and went into the apartment, he could ‘smell something burning,’ according to a probable cause affidavit.

Thompson and Malone told police they found the three other children crying and pointing to the kitchen.

In the kitchen, the oven had tipped over, with the oven’s door face down on the floor, with J’zyra apparently inside, according to the affidavit.

Malone stated he ‘up-righted the range and the next thing he noticed was J’zyra was lying on the floor.’

He stated that ‘she was obviously burned and deceased,’ according to the affidavit. The oven had apparently been turned on ‘all the way’.

It is thought the toddler had been kicking in a bid to get out of the oven after the temperature was turned up.

The three other children who were living in the apartment have been taken into CPS custody, with the agency saying it was concerned the children were often left home alone and without adult supervision.

Currently Malone is facing six months to two years in prison if he is convicted.

However, he along with the baby’s mother could see the charges increased and could face more jail time.

Assistant District Attorney Stephen Driver told KTRK that Malone had some responsibility over the kids.

‘Our theory in this case was that he was the boyfriend and they were all living together, so he had some responsibility for those children, living in his care and in his household,’ Driver stated.

The father of two of Thompson’s children, Frederick Price, said that he’s been looking for them for months and claims that she hasn’t responded to his messages or calls.

‘I need to know where they are, I haven’t heard from my children in months,’ Price told KTRK. ‘ I’ve been trying to contact Racquel.’

Price, who is also the ex-boyfriend to Thompson, said that he might be J’zyra’s father.

‘She was a cute little baby, I just didn’t know if that was my daughter or not,’ he told KTRK.

He explained that he lost his job a few months ago and his two children had been staying with Thompson.

Price said that it’s ‘irresponsible’ of her to leave the kids as she did.

‘It’s very irresponsible, someone should have been here or I should have gotten a phone call, come and get my children,’ he told KTRK.

Source: The DailyMail

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