Montgomery County District 9 Judge Fred Edwards 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.
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 apartment.
But after detectives discovered the getaway car with blood on the driver’s side door – along with a blood-covered pistol and cell phone in McClain’s apartment, they said McClain 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.
Investigators said they also found a bloody long-sleeve T-shirt at that home, and they determined that the shell casings recovered at the scene of the shooting matched the pistol found in McClain’s apartment.
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.
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.
"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.