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."

Text Only
AP story section
  • Iraq violence threatens OPEC's precarious balance NEW YORK (AP) -- The oil market has balanced out quite nicely for OPEC in recent years. Now, upheaval in Iraq shows that balance may be more precarious than it has seemed. Dramatic changes in oil production around the globe have offset each other ins

    June 13, 2014

  • Board of Trade Grain mixed, livestock mostly higher CHICAGO (AP) -- Grain futures were mixed Thursday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for July delivery was 1 cent higher at $5.9025 a bushel; July corn was 1.25 cents lower at $4.4075 a bushel; July oats were unchanged at $3.4625 a

    June 13, 2014

  • Health campaign among nation's costliest CHICAGO -- President Barack Obama's home state agreed to spend $33 million in federal money promoting his health care law, hiring a high-priced public relations firm for work that initially was mocked and spending far more per enrollee on television

    June 13, 2014

  • Some states roll back teacher tenure protections WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even before a judge's scathing ruling against California's teacher tenure policies, the once-sacred protections that make it harder to fire teachers already had been weakened in many states -- and even removed altogether in some pl

    June 13, 2014

  • Tigers' Scherzer outduels Sale CHICAGO -- Max Scherzer already has a Cy Young Award. Now he has a complete game. Scherzer tossed a three-hitter in his 179th career start for his first complete game and Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 4-0 win over

    June 13, 2014

  • $40M casino for rural Iowa approved BURLINGTON (AP) -- The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has voted 3-2 to grant a license for a $40 million casino development that would be located in rural central Iowa. Supporters of the Jefferson casino burst into applause during a meeting in Bur

    June 13, 2014

  • Principal case leads to two hearings RED OAK -- Two hearings are planned related to a southwest Iowa school district's plan to fire a high school principal. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported the effort to fire Red Oak High School Principal Jedd Sherman will be the subject of a

    June 13, 2014

  • U.S. split outgrows voting booth WASHINGTON (AP) -- Political polarization in America has broken out of the voting booth. A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds Americans are divided by ideology and partisanship not only when they cast ballots, but also in choosing where to

    June 13, 2014

  • Cubs' offense no help for Samardzija PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Samardzija has some advice his pitching brethren when it comes to facing streaking Andrew McCutchen. Don't. The way the Chicago Cubs' ace looks at it, trying to get the Pittsburgh Pirates' star out at the moment only opens yourself

    June 13, 2014

  • 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

AP Video
National News