No bail for nurse accused of murder, baby theft

Verna McClain is being held without bond, charged with capital murder
April 23, 2012 8:08:31 PM PDT
As a family prepares to say goodbye to the mother, wife and daughter they lost, there is some comfort in knowing that the woman accused of killing her then kidnapping her infant sone isn't getting out of jail any time soon.

Funeral services will be held for Kala Golden Schuhardt in Willis Tuesday afternoon. About eight miles away at the Montgomery County Courthouse, prosecutors argued Verna McClain should remain jailed until trial.

Wearing a pink and white jail jump suit, McClain looked timid and uncertain at her bail hearing where the Montgomery County District Attorney argued she should be held without bond.

"We've proven by convincing evidence, her guilt," said Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon. "We've also proven, based on underlying facts, that this was a cold calculated pre-mediated murder."

Ligon was forceful in court, telling the judge that after McClain allegedly shot and killed Schuhardt, 28, last week in front of Northwoods Pediatric Clinic, she kidnapped Schuhardt's three-day-old son, cleaned up, changed clothes, and went to three separate locations to try to avoid capture.

"This morning the judge heard our motion to deny bail under the Texas constitution," Ligon said.

Despite defense attorneys' arguments to the contrary, the judge declared there would be no bond.

"I'm disappointed because this is the United States, and bail and bond a big issue," said defense attorney E. Tay Bond. "It's part of our constitutional protections, and for it to be denied, certainly rare."

Defense attorneys say they will now ask that McClain undergo a mental evaluation, in addition to evaluating a growing amount of evidence from all sides.

As McClain remains in jail, the district attorney says he has yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

"This is an awesome responsibility, and I will tell you, it's the biggest decision I will make in office on any case like this," Ligon said.

The DA has not put a time frame on when he will decide whether or not to seek the death penalty.

As for the motive, investigators initially said McClain had suffered a miscarriage and they believe she was trying to get another baby to try to replace that child. Prosecutors now say they have to more investigation before they can comment publicly on that potential motive.

Meanwhile, the community has pulled together around the family, hosting a benefit for Kala's children over the weekend. And while it has given them strength, nothing can take away their pain.

"I tell you what, I would've jumped in front of that lady and took every one of those bullets so my daughter could raise her own children because this is just wrong," said Golden Schuhardt's mother, Linda Golden.

A memorial concert also is being planned for Kala and her family this summer.

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