Verna McClain is facing capital murder charges in the state of Texas for the shooting death of 28-year-old wife and mother Kala Golden. The nurse and mother of three is said to have shot Golden in the parking lot of a suburban Houston pediatric clinic and then took the woman’s 3-day-old son, Keegan Schuchardt. According to McClain’s sister, whom the infant was found safe with hours later, McClain planned to adopt the boy.
Defense attorney E. Tay Bond said lawyers will be reviewing McClain’s mental state. She currently plans to plead not guilty, and bond added that a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity was “certainly something we will be visiting.” It seems McClain had suffered a miscarriage and was desperate to find a baby after telling her fiancé that she’d given birth to their child. McClain’s court-appointed lawyers said she was confused, visibly upset, and mumbling to them during a brief court hearing held earlier yesterday.
“It will take a while … for her to have an appreciation for what the situation is, if she ever does appreciate it,” Bond said after the hearing.
A bond hearing for McClain was delayed until Monday to allow lawyers more time to review the case. Until then, McClain will be held without bond in a jail cell by herself under 24-hour watch. Bond said he didn’t believe any of her relatives had visited her and he hopes McClain is granted a reasonable bond so she can take care of her three children, who are being looked after by a relative in Houston.
Capital murder carries a possible death sentence, but Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said his office hasn’t decided whether to seek the death penalty yet. Bond and McClain’s other attorney, Stephen Jackson, said they don’t think that punishment would be appropriate.
“One of the things they have to prove is future dangerousness,” Bond said. “When you have an isolated incident with somebody who has no prior criminal history, it is very difficult to prove that that person would be a future danger.”
Do you think a not guilty plea by reason of insanity will work in this case?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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