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Texas nurse shot young mother to death, took newborn, police say

April 18, 2012|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske | This post has been corrected. Please see note below for details.
  • Verna McClain, 30, of Houston was charged with capital murder Wednesday in connection with the fatal shooting of a 28 year-old mother and the kidnapping of her newborn son the day before outside a pediatrician's office north of Houston.
Verna McClain, 30, of Houston was charged with capital murder Wednesday… (Montgomery County district…)

HOUSTON -- A licensed vocational nurse was charged Wednesday with capital murder after she confessed to shooting a young mother and kidnapping her newborn son outside a pediatrician's office near Houston, authorities said.

Verna McClain, 30, of Houston is accused in Tuesday's fatal shooting of 28-year-old Kala Marie Golden. On Wednesday, a judge ordered McClain held without bond in Montgomery County jail, Assistant Dist. Atty. Phil Grant told The Times.

Based on the arrest report's chronology of events, confirmed by Grant, witnesses say an argument broke out between Golden and another woman as Golden left Northwoods Pediatric Center on Tuesday afternoon with her 3-day-old son, Keegan.

The woman shot Golden, took the baby and drove away in a Lexus, according to witness accounts.

Investigators located the suspect's blue 2007 Lexus about a mile and a half away at an apartment complex. There, McClain eventually approached them and admitted to shooting Golden and taking her baby, according to the arrest report.

McClain said she had taken the baby home with her to Houston, where he was later located, according to the arrest report.

McClain's sister, Corina Jackson, told investigators that McClain had been talking about adopting a child. After the shooting, McClain told her sister she had the child and would soon need to proceed with the adoption, according to the arrest report.

Staff at the pediatric center, located in Spring, about 25 miles north of Houston, told The Times the McClain is not employed there.

Early Wednesday, Montgomery County Dist. Atty. Brett Ligon told "Good Morning America" that McClain's statement to investigators indicated the shooting was part of a kidnapping plan. He also said that Golden was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Grant, however, said he couldn't confirm that assessment.

Ligon made no mention during the "Good Morning America" interview of a man whom witnesses told the Associated Press they saw in the Lexus -- which, they said, had blood on the driver's side.

Keegan was found unharmed late Tuesday and reunited with his family, Grant said.

"The baby is back safe with his father," he said.

Officials are expected to release more details at a briefing later Wednesday.

[For the Record, 12:47 p.m. April 18: An earlier version of this post stated that Verna McClain is a registered nurse. She's a licensed vocational nurse.]

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molly.hennessy-fiske@latimes.com

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