CONROE, Texas – A Texas woman accused of kidnapping a newborn boy after fatally shooting his mother will be held without bond, a judge ruled Monday.
Verna McClain is accused of shooting 28-year-old Kala Golden outside a suburban Houston pediatric center last week and abducting her 3-day-old son, who was later found safe. Investigators believe McClain was desperate for a baby after suffering a miscarriage, and her attorneys have said they planned to review her mental state.
“This was a cold calculated murder, not only meant to deprive Kala Golden of her life but to abduct her child,” Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said during the 1½ hour bond hearing.
Defense attorney E. Tay Bond had asked for a bond of $100,000 or less for the 30-year-old nurse, arguing she has no prior criminal history and that witnesses have not positively identified her as being at the shooting scene.
“We of course disagree with (the judge’s ruling). We believe she has a constitutional right to a bond,” Bond said after the hearing.
But state District Judge Fred Edwards ruled the preliminary evidence presented by prosecutors at the hearing supported the charge against McClain and justified her being held without bond.
McClain did not speak during the hearing. She kept looking down at the floor as she rocked back and forth in her chair and tapped her leg up and down.
Bond said McClain continues to mumble and be visibly upset, as she was at a hearing last week.
McClain faces a capital murder charge, which could carry a death sentence. Ligon said his office hasn’t decided whether to seek the death penalty.
The shooting occurred outside the Northwoods Pediatric Center in Spring, about 25 miles north of Houston, where McClain had taken her three children for checkups. But investigators believe Golden was randomly targeted.
Authorities said Golden was placing her son, Keegan Schuchardt, into her pickup truck when McClain repeatedly shot her, snatched the child and sped off in her car. Golden died at a hospital.
The infant was found safe hours later with McClain’s sister, who told investigators that McClain told her she planned to adopt the boy. Investigators said McClain had told her fiance she’d given birth to their child.
McClain was a vocational nurse and had been working for Epic Health Services, a Dallas-based company that provides private duty nursing services for medically fragile children and adults facing chronic illness or catastrophic injuries.
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