HOUSTON - The woman, who was charged after her baby burned to death in an oven, is speaking out exclusively to FOX 26 News. Myself and community activist Quanell X visited with Raqual Thompson, who is In custody at the Harris County Jail. The crime that she is charged with is so heinous that even other inmates are angry.
"When I came here and met Mr. David Conley, he had killed six people and he wasn't shackled, but this young woman, she came to the visitation room shackled because she has a "high profile" case because many of the other female inmates may want to harm her based on what she's charged with," explains Quanell X.
Thompson and her boyfriend of ten months, 21-year-old Cornell Malone, are charged with endangering a child. They are accused of leaving Thompson's four children at Malone's apartment unit by themselves The oldest child is 5 years old while the youngest, a one-year-old girl, died after investigators say she was put in the oven by her 3-year-old sibling.
Thompson tells FOX 26 that she arrived back at the apartment unit to find her surviving children crying and her baby girl burned to death.
"She came home and saw the baby like that," says Quanell X, "So it's forever burned in her brain. It's forever scorched in her heart how she came home and saw her child burned up like that."
Thompson cried throughout the visit. She says she hasn't stopped crying since finding her daughter dead and talked about how much she loves her children and how she is absolutely consumed with guilt. She also tells FOX 26 that she desperately wants to be able to go back and make a different choice.
"She's beating herself up because she's saying, 'If I could do it all over again, I just would have stayed home,' adds Quanell X. "She's clearly remorseful."
Why did she leave such young children alone? Thompson says the children were asleep and she erroneously believed she could pick up a pizza with her boyfriend while the children were in bed -- a horrible decision she says she will painfully regret the rest of her life.
"She made a very bad decision, but it doesn't make her a very bad or evil person," says Quanell X. "She just made a decision."
Thompson was 18 years old when she had her first child. Now at 25 years old, she has five children and one on the way.
"She's due to give birth very soon," says Quanell X. "She's eight and a half months pregnant."
Thompson describes her life as difficult trying to care for her children alone.
Now pregnant, in mourning, in jail, isolated from inmates for her own safety and likely losing her surviving children, this overwhelmed mother now realizes just how disastrous and deadly it can be to decide to leave your children alone.
"I'm going to try to help her because I believe she's a soul worth saving.," says Quanell X. "This family, what they really need most is not hate, not condemnation but a whole lot of prayer."