No bail for Texas nurse accused of killing woman, kidnapping baby

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 23, 2012 5:18 PM
No bail for Texas nurse accused of killing woman, kidnapping baby

By Deborah Quinn Hensel

CONROE, Texas (Reuters) - A judge on Monday denied bail for a nurse accused of fatally shooting a young mother and abducting her baby outside a doctor's office near Houston last week.

District Attorney Brett Ligon said he was still considering whether to seek the death penalty against Verna D. McClain, 30, charged with murdering mother Kala Golden, 28, and kidnapping her 3-day-old baby Keegan Schuchardt on April 17. The baby was found unharmed that same evening at a home 10 miles away.

District Court Judge Fred Edwards said that the crimes McClain is accused of could warrant the death penalty.

"The violent death of a young mother, shot -- I think that's worthy of the death penalty," Edwards told defense attorneys.

McClain watched in the courtroom without emotion, rocking back and forth and pumping her legs nervously during the entire hour-and-a-half bond hearing.

Detective John Schmitt of the Montgomery County, Texas Sheriff's Department described how Golden was shot point blank in the chest three times. Witnesses from the clinic had said earlier that Golden yelled "my baby, my baby" and tried to lunge in the light blue Lexus to retrieve the baby.

McClain was arrested at an apartment complex where the Lexus was found with blood on the driver's side door, Schmitt said.

Schmitt said that McClain's story of how she got the baby kept changing. Defense attorney E. Tay Bond said that McClain was the one who told police where the baby was and that should be taken into account.

"My client is the one who provided the address where the child was found," said Bond.

Police had previously said McClain had told her fiancé she had been pregnant, and took the abducted child to show him, telling him it was theirs. Both McClain and her fiancé are black, and the abducted baby is white.

Bond said he has no knowledge of a pregnancy or miscarriage but said he was looking into McClain's medical records. McClain has three children ages 16, 10 and 6.

(Editing by Greg McCune and Cynthia Osterman)