The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

April 18, 2012

Texas nurse admits to shooting mom, abducting baby

SPRING, Texas — A nurse has admitted to fatally shooting a young mother in a town near Houston and abducting the dying woman's newborn son whom she apparently intended to adopt, authorities said Wednesday.

Verna McClain is charged with capital murder in the killing of 28-year-old Kala Marie Golden.

Witnesses saw a woman repeatedly shoot Golden on Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of a pediatric clinic in Spring.

She then drove away with Golden's 3-day-old son Keegan who was found Tuesday evening, unharmed, at a home with McClain's sister, authorities said.

According to a Montgomery County arrest record, McClain, 30, admitted to shooting Golden and taking Keegan to Harris County, where the baby was subsequently found. Houston is in Harris County and McClain listed an address in the city as her home, according to jail records.

McClain gave authorities information that only the shooter would know, according to the arrest record.

She is being held without bail.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's office said in a statement that officers found Keegan with Corina Jackson, McClain's sister. Jackson told investigators that McClain told her she would need to "do the adoption," according to the county record.

Witnesses say an argument broke out between Golden and another woman on Tuesday afternoon as Golden left Northwoods Pediatric Center in Spring, about 20 miles north of Houston.

The woman repeatedly shot Golden then snatched Keegan from her and began to drive away in a blue or light green Lexus, according to witness accounts. The dying woman leaned into the vehicle and tried to take Keegan back, screaming "My baby!" but her attacker sped away.

Phil Grant, the first assistant district attorney in Montgomery County, told The Associated Press that the shooting appeared to be random, but declined to comment further.

Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon told ABC's "Good Morning America" that McClain's statement to investigators indicates she shot the mother as part of a wider plan to kidnap any child and that Golden was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"There were statements as indicated in the arrest record that were made by Ms. McClain that led us to believe that, in fact, this was an intentional act on her part," Ligon said. "Not that Ms. Golden was targeted specifically, but that this was part of a plan to kidnap a child."

He made no mention of a man whom witnesses said they saw in the blood-splattered Lexus. The sheriff's office said authorities do not believe a second suspect is at large.

Ligon said Child Protective Service officials were looking after Keegan but that they expected the baby to soon be reunited with his father.

Keegan's father, Keith Schuchardt, told the Houston Chronicle that he and Golden had been married for three years. Schuchardt said he learned of the shooting because as Golden lay dying she asked another woman to call him and tell him what had happened.

"I loved her, and she loved me," Schuchardt told Houston television station KHOU. "Everything was going fine until today."

On Tuesday evening, officers with guns and riot shields raided an apartment near the clinic after a detective noticed a parked vehicle that matched witness descriptions of the Lexus, according to the sheriff's office.

McClain, a vocational nurse, is not employed by the Northwoods Pediatrics Center, according to a receptionist at the clinic, Jackie Longoria.

Golden's mother, Linda Golden, told the AP that she had been baby-sitting another of Kala's sons when someone at the scene called her using her daughter's cellphone. She rushed to the clinic but was unable to see her daughter because paramedics were trying to save her.

"I wanted to kiss her before they put her in the ambulance," Linda Golden said.

Linda Golden said she had no idea what could have sparked the slaying and abduction.

"That's the hardest she's ever fought," Linda Golden said. "She died trying to save her baby."

1
Text Only
AP story section
  • State to reopen Juvenile Home DES MOINES -- A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home, telling Gov. Terry Branstad he cannot unilaterally change a law approved by the state Legislature. Judge Scott Rosenberg said the home in Toledo was

    February 6, 2014

  • Panel OKs ban on remote abortion pill distribution DES MOINES -- A legislative panel approved a measure Wednesday that would ban the remote distribution of abortion pills, a proposal the bill's sponsor said is intended to delay the procedure and give women more time to change their minds. The subcomm

    February 6, 2014

  • Sioux City gambling group halts local grants SIOUX CITY -- The nonprofit that holds the gambling license for the Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino has voted to temporarily stop sending grants to local charities and government agencies. A legal dispute with the operator of the casino, Penn Nati

    January 15, 2014

  • Davenport pays, apologizes to hearing impaired man DAVENPORT (AP) -- The city of Davenport has issued an unusual apology to a former alderman after a police employee was caught on tape saying that he intentionally knocked softly on the hearing-impaired man's door when responding to a service call. Th

    January 15, 2014

  • Budget Branstad presents budget for next fiscal year DES MOINES -- Gov. Terry Branstad offered a budget proposal Tuesday that includes a tax break for veterans, a tuition freeze for college students and incentives to encourage Internet expansion in rural Iowa, a more modest list of priorities one year

    January 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gov. restores more felons' voting rights IOWA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Terry Branstad restored voting rights to more felons in 2013 than the prior two years combined, but thousands of others remain disenfranchised under a 2011 policy change. Data released by the governor's office to The Associated

    January 15, 2014

  • Man fatally shot at Fla. theater over texting WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (AP) -- A 71-year-old retired police officer accused of shooting a man dead in a Florida movie theater told authorities that "he was in fear of being attacked" during Monday's confrontation. Curtis Reeves is charged with second-de

    January 15, 2014

  • Iowa Senator: Congress must confirm election board DES MOINES -- An Iowa senator asked a U.S. Senate committee Wednesday to confirm appointees to a federal election commission so a decision can be made about whether Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is properly using money for voter-fraud investig

    January 9, 2014

  • School Discipline Gov't: End overly zealous discipline in schools WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Obama administration is urging schools to abandon overly zealous discipline policies that civil rights advocates have long said lead to a school-to-prison pipeline that discriminates against minority students. The wide-ranging

    January 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Governor, lawmakers set modest goals for 2014 DES MOINES -- After reaching bipartisan agreements on several major policy initiatives last year, Gov. Terry Branstad said Wednesday that he is setting more modest expectations for the 2014 legislative session. Speaking at The Associated Press' annua

    January 9, 2014

AP Video
Facebook
National News