CONROE, Texas A Montgomery County Judge on Monday denied bond for Verna McClain, the woman accused of killing a mother outside of a Woodlands-area pediatric center and abducting the victim s newborn son.
The judge agreed with District Attorney Brett Ligon that there was enough evidence for a capital murder case and, if the DA chooses, a chance at the death penalty.
The burden on us is to put forth evidence, that we believe that she would be found guilty of capital murder, but not only would she be found guilty of capital murder but that a jury, if given the task, would in fact come back with a penalty of death. We believe that we met that burden, Ligon said, adding that they have not yet decided if they will actually pursue the death penalty.
McClain, 30, appeared shaky and fidgety rocking back and forth as she sat for the nearly two-hour hearing.
According to testimony, just hours after she allegedly shot 28-year-old Kala Golden and abducted then-3-day-old Keegan Schuchardt, McClain approached detectives and told them that she d found the baby on the front steps of her sister'sapartment complex and had taken him toanother home inHouston for safekeeping.
Det. John Schmitt testified how he first met McClain at the apartment complex, where the getaway car a powder blue Lexus registered to McClain s sister was found.
Schmitt said the Lexus had blood on the driver s side door, where Golden had fought for her baby.
Detectives also said they found a bloody pair of pants at the apartments, along with a blood-covered cell phone and a .380 caliber Taurus semi-automatic pistol matching the caliber shell-casings found at the shooting scene.
When they pressed McClain further, deputies said she confessed that she was the one who killed Golden and snatched the child.
Keegan was found unharmed that night at a home with McClain s sister, investigators said.
Still, defense attorneys on Monday asked the judge to grant McClain a bond of $100,000 or less, so she could be released to tend to her own children.
They also indicated that they will challenge the admissibility of McClain s confession and will have experts evaluate McClain s mental state. Defense attorneys noted that, so far, police have no witnesses who actually saw McClain in the getaway car.
But Judge Fred Edwards sided with the DA, saying there was enough evidence to hold McClain without bail for what he described as a cold, calculated, premeditated murder. She was sent back to the Montgomery County Jail, where she remained under 24-hour suicide watch.
I m disappointed because this is the United States, and bail and bond is a big issue as part of our constitutional protections, and for it to be denied certainly rare. Certainly rare, defense attorney E. Tay Bond said.
McClain s next court date has not been set.