The mother of baby J’zyra Thompson and her boyfriend have been charged after the unsupervised toddler died from severe burns while playing in an oven with her siblings.
According to NBC News, Racqual Thompson, 25, and Cornell Malone were charged with endangering a child. J’zyra died on Nov. 16 after she, a five-year-old and two three-year-olds were left alone in Thompson’s apartment.
Police claim the couple put the kids to bed at 8 p.m. and headed out to get food and visit Malone’s brother.
When they arrived home two hours later, they found the children in tears pointing to the kitchen. The oven was tipped over, turned to the highest degree, with the baby trapped inside.
During their hearing on Tuesday, Malone and Thompson, who is eight months pregnant, asked for court-appointed lawyers. Alice Price, the great-grandmother of two of the children, says Thompson has left the kids alone in the past.
“She had to be doing that more than once,” said Price. “Thinking you can run out there and run back. You can’t do that. You cannot do that. Kids will play with those knobs. I’ve seen my kids messing with those knobs,” Price said with tears in her eyes. “But I always stay on them, you got to constantly watch kids.”
All of the children are currently in foster care. J’zyra’s grandfather, Frederick Price Jr., and Fredrick Price, the father of two of the toddlers, are seeking custody of the children.
“To see my kids or even have my kids back with me, where they need to be, protected by their dad, so nothing like what they’ve been through will happen, ever again,” said Price.
Malone is the father of Thompson’s unborn child. She also has an older child who lives with their father.