Death penalty sought in murder, baby theft case

Verna McClain was indicted for murder

October 18, 2012 3:01:29 PM PDT
The Montgomery County woman accused of killing a mother and kidnapping her newborn son will face the death penalty. Prosecutors announced their decision in court Thursday.

It was six months ago, almost to the day, when Kala Golden-Schuchardt was murdered for her baby in the parking lot of a pediatrician's office. Now the Montgomery County District Attorney announced he will seek the death penalty against her suspected killer, Verna McClain.

Dressed in a pink and white jumpsuit, a timid McClain shuffled into the courtroom, eyes down, bound by shackles and handcuffs, as the courtroom filled with eyes watched her.

McClain, 31,is charged with capital murder in the death of Golden-Schuchardt, 28. On April 17, prosecutors say the licensed nurse fatally shot the young mother outside a pediatric clinic, then kidnapped her three-day-old son Keegan.

On Thursday in court, Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon announced the state will seek the death penalty against McClain.

. "What I'd like to do is let the evidence speak for itself," Ligon said. "So I don't want to get too much into what went into the decision."

McClain's mother, Jeanette Jackson, was in the front row of the courtroom to hear the decision as well.

"I am asking the state of Texas, county of Montgomery for a fair trial for my daughter," Jackson said. "That's all I'm asking."

McClain's defense team, comprised of three attorneys, says her psychological state will play a role in the upcoming trial, as will the fact that she has no criminal history. Both factors, they seem confident, will keep her from a death sentence.

"The state coming out and announcing that they're going to seek the death penalty in a case like this is kind of like a football team saying they're going to the Super Dowl on day one of spring practice," said defense attorney E Tay Bond. "It's a long road, and we plan to make it very difficult. I think we have the evidence to keep her from getting the death penalty, certainly."

The baby was found safe with a relative of McClain. Investigators say McClain had a miscarriage and was desperate to find a baby to pass off as her own.

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