JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Somer Thompson's mom, Diena Thompson, shared her thoughts with a national television audience Wednesday about the day Jarred Harrell went before the judge to enter a guilty plea and learn he would serve the rest of his days in prison.
"No, I don't forgive him, and he is going to leave that prison in a coffin and probably much sooner than he would have on death row," Thompson said of the man who admitted to killing her 7-year-old daughter.
In an interview on NBC's "Today" show, Thompson maintained her inner strength, but with an occasional glimpse of emotion.
Thompson said she really wanted her daughter's killer to look her directly in the eye, but he wouldn't do it.
"Yes, he owed me that. He owed me at least that," Thompson said. "He stole my child from me in such a viscous way. At least, my family deserved that. He should have said something, but he's a coward, so that's what a coward would do."
Thompson said the day Harrell killed Somer, he stole an innocent girl from the world and stole that same innocence from Somer's sister and twin brother. And though she pledged to see this case through to the death penalty, Thompson accepted the idea of a plea.
"It's served as best as it can be, and I think that the inmates in the prison are probably going to do him some justice for me," Thompson said. "I just want to move forward with the (Somer Thompson) Foundation and try to help other families and try to do something to make it where this can't happen again."
When Thompson was asked how she got through the court hearing, she said, "You just do what you've got to do. There's no other choice. You've got to stand up and fight or lay down and die, and I won't lay down and die for a monster."
Thompson also vowed to protect other children and prevent attacks like the one her daughter suffered.
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