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Nurse charged with murder after Texas mom killed in apparent baby-snatch plot

Updated at 1 p.m. ET: A Texas woman was charged with capital murder Wednesday after allegedly shooting a mother and snatching her 3-day-old baby in the parking lot of a pediatric clinic, reports say. The newborn was later found safe with the suspect's sister.

The mother, Kala Marie Golden, 28, of Spring, Texas, had taken her son, Keegan Schuchardt, to a clinic for a checkup on Tuesday, when she was confronted by Verna McClain, a 30-year-old vocational nurse, authorities said.


Montgomery County Sheriff's Office via Reuters

Verna Deann McClain is pictured in this Montgomery County, Texas, Sheriff's Office booking photograph taken early Wednesday.

An argument broke out, according to witnesses. "I did see the lady get out, and they were struggling," said Tia Collins.

Update: Deputies say nurse snatched baby to hide miscarriage

McClain then shot Golden up to seven times and snatched the baby from her arms before driving away in a Lexus, according to reports. Golden reportedly cried out, “My baby, my baby," and lurched forward to grab her child as the vehicle drove off.

Golden was transported to Memorial Hermann hospital in The Woodlands, where she died, officials said. 

McClain was not employed at Northwoods Pediatric Center in Spring, 20 miles north of Houston, where Golden took her baby for the checkup, clinic receptionist Jackie Longoria told The Associated Press. McClain has three children of her own, said Houston television station KHOU.

Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon told ABC's "Good Morning America" that McClain's statement to investigators suggests Golden was in the wrong place at the wrong time and that the shooting was part of a plan to kidnap any child she could find, The Associated Press reported.

"There were statements as indicated in the arrest record that were made by Ms. McClain that led us to believe that, in fact, this was an intentional act on her part," Ligon said. "Not that Ms. Golden was targeted specifically, but that this was part of a plan to kidnap a child."

McClain is being held without bail.

Witnesses said they also saw a man in the Lexus that was at the scene, but police said authorities do not believe a second suspect is at large.

Keegan was found unharmed Tuesday evening with McClain's sister, Corina Jackson, at the Harris County home of McClain's parents.

The baby was reunited with family members Wednesday morning after being in the care of Child Protective Services, officials said.

Keegan's father, Keith Schuchardt, told the Houston Chronicle that he learned of the shooting because Golden, who lay dying, asked another woman to call him and tell him what had happened.

"She was sweet, lovable. I loved her, and she loved me," Schuchardt told KHOU. "Everything was going fine until today."

After his mother was brutally gunned down outside a Houston, Texas, pediatrician's office, a 3-day-old baby has been found safe. TODAY's Natalie Morales reports.

He and Golden were married for more than three years and had three young sons, KHOU said.

Golden's mother, Linda Golden, told the AP that she had been baby-sitting another of Kala's sons when someone at the scene called her using her daughter's cellphone. She rushed to the clinic but was unable to see her daughter because paramedics were trying to save her.

"I wanted to kiss her before they put her in the ambulance," Linda Golden said.

"That's the hardest she's ever fought," Linda Golden said. "She died trying to save her baby."

This article includes reporting by The Associated Press. 

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