Monday, April 23, 2012
by Katherine Scardino
Verna McClain is a 30 year old vocational nurse, who lived and worked in Montgomery County, located just north of Houston, Texas. She was engaged to be married and had been pregnant, until she suffered a miscarriage. Then, she set out on a search to "adopt" a baby.
Vera's mother told a Houston Chronicle reporter that she was shocked and in disbelief when she heard of the crime. Verna was not a violent person. A neighbor described her as a great mother, hard worker - even working 60 hours a week at times.
But life as Verna McClain knew it came crashing down last week when she was arrested and subsequently charged with capital murder in connection with the shooting death of Kala Golden (and the kidnapping of Kala's newborn son). This charge places her at risk for a death sentence, and the District Attorney handling her case will more likely than not seek the death penalty due to the extreme facts of this case.
Ms. Kala Golden Schugard gave birth to her baby boy, Keegan, three days prior to the incident. As Kala and Keegan left their pediatrician's office, Verna McClain was waiting for them - and she had a gun. Without much ado, Verna pulled her pistol and shot Kala several times in the chest. Kala fell to the pavement. Verna grabbed the baby, little 3 day old Keegan, out of the carriage and ran with the baby to her sister's Lexus and sped off - with Kala screaming "my baby, my baby!" Kala died there on the hot pavement, alone and the victim of one of the saddest crimes this area has seen for several years.
Verna did not care about Kala - she was on a mission. Apparently, she had been pregnant and had told her boyfriend that she had given birth to his baby. But, the first step occurred in this tragic sequence of events - Verna miscarried. Now, she needs a baby, so her mission began to locate a baby who could be pawned off to boyfriend as his own.
The facts of this tragic crime seem like those of many we have heard before. What makes this case weirdly different is that baby Keegan is white and Verna McClain is black. What in the world made her think she would be able to pass this little white baby as hers and her boyfriend's?
Enter stage right is her defense attorney. What could he say to the prosecutor to mitigate these facts and her confession at the time of her arrest? Two words - Andrea Yates ... remember her? She drowned her five children in the bathtub of their home (also just outside of Houston) back in 2001. Allegedly, unknown to her husband and family, she had been suffering from serious psychological issues that were coupled with a somewhat fanatical religious belief. During the trial jurors heard a lot of testimony both from the Defense and from the State, and from mental health experts. Her case was tried twice with the last one resulting in a verdict of insanity. Remember also that "insanity" means insane at the time of the offense.
Verna McClain's neighbors, friends, family and her fiancé all expressed shock that the woman they knew could possibly commit this murder and kidnapping. There is also the distraught family of this young mother, who are now faced with an incident no one could ever imagine, least of all expect. There is a tiny infant who will never know his biological mother.
We will have to wait for the end result of this case, but regardless of what it is, it will be bad for all concerned.Tweet