Man gets two life sentences for killing pregnant ex-girlfriend and preborn son

By Cassy Fiano-Chesser 

Rafiq Thompson, a Philadelphia man who murdered his pregnant ex-girlfriend and their preborn baby, has been given two consecutive life sentences. Homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women.

In April of 2022, Thompson shot 31-year-old Tamara Cornelius multiple times as she pumped gas. He continued to fire even as she tried to get away. “It’s a chilling, it’s a heinous killing,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele told Fox29 at the time. Cornelius was 14 weeks pregnant with Thompson’s child.

Thompson was arrested and charged with both first-degree murder and murder of a preborn child. Earlier this month, a jury found him guilty on both charges. Montgomery County Judge William R. Carpenter then issued the sentence in a follow-up hearing. Lawyers for Thompson issued a bizarre defense, claiming he was not the “worst of the worst,” but Carpenter said Thompson’s crimes were among the worst he’s seen in his decades on the bench.

“What you did to this defenseless woman and unborn child was cowardly, a despicable act of violence,” he said, calling Thompson the “lowest of the low.” He continued, “He is a dangerous person, a danger to the community. He does not follow the rules.”

Steele had argued that Thompson’s killings deserved consecutive life sentences because Thompson took the life of an innocent child. “A cold-blooded killing, multiple shots at close range,” he said. “He knows she is pregnant. He killed his child. What could that little boy have been? What could he have done to impact the world? We’ll never know because he murdered that child. We should not lose sight of what he has taken away.”

Ta-Naya Dunlap, Cornelius’ sister, addressed Thompson in court, saying that they were grateful to know justice had been served.

“We’re all heartbroken and devastated. No matter what happens we’re never going to fully heal from this. He hasn’t apologized to our family for what he’s put us through. He’s a coward. Because that’s what cowards do,” she said. “I want to thank the court for helping us get justice for my sister.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.