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Kala Golden-Schuchardt, Killed Trying To Save Son From Abduction By Nurse Verna McClain, Remembered Fondly

By JUAN A. LOZANO 04/24/12 09:52 PM ET AP

Kala Golden
In this undated family snapshot Kala Marie Golden, right, is shown with her two sons. Golden was killed and her 3-day-old baby abducted outside a pediatric clinic Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in Spring, Texas. Verna Deann McClain has been charged with capital murder and the baby was found and is now with relatives. (AP Photo/Schuchardt Family)

WILLIS, Texas -- Friends and family of a Houston-area woman who was fatally shot trying to save her newborn son from being abducted remembered her fondly Tuesday as a mother who lived for her children and heroically fought for one of them until death.

Authorities say Kala Golden-Schuchardt had just left a pediatric clinic near her home in the Houston suburb of Spring on April 17 when she was shot several times by a 30-year-old nurse who then abducted her 3-day-old son, Keegan.

Witnesses reported that Golden-Schuchardt tried reaching into the Lexus that McClain had sped away in, screaming: "My baby!" She was able to give a description of her shooter to police before she died at a hospital. The boy was found safe hours later with the sister of the suspect, who remains jailed.

"She fought so desperately those last few moments," said Wayne Law, a pastor who spoke at the funeral service. "Today, she is with God. She is at peace."

Law said the question on his mind, as well as others who knew Golden-Schuchardt, was why would somebody harm her and take her newborn son.

"Why Kala?" he said. "I wish I had the answer, but I don't."

Investigators believe Golden was randomly targeted.

Another family pastor, Ed Hendrix, recalled Golden-Schuchardt as a person who could be vocal and outspoken, but who also loved to tease and play and could "hold her own in any burping contest," a comment which elicited laughter from the more than 150 people who attended the funeral service.

Hendrix said Golden-Schuchardt's greatest love was her children, which included Keegan and two other sons.

"She loved being a mother. Her children were her life," Hendrix said during the 40-minute service at a church in Willis, about 50 miles north of Houston.

Hendrix said Golden-Schuchardt also loved animals – dogs, cats, horses and especially butterflies. A group of butterflies was released at her grave in a cemetery in Spring, located about 25 miles north of Houston. Other members of her family are also buried there.

Golden-Schuchardt's immediate family did not speak at the service. Jay Smith, a relative and family spokesman, said the family was "grateful and thankful for the swift action taken by the law enforcement community in bringing baby Keegan home safely."

Verna McClain, who is accused of shooting Golden-Schuchardt and abducting Keegan, remains jailed after a judge denied bond at a court hearing Monday. Investigators believe McClain was desperate for a baby after suffering a miscarriage, and her attorneys have said they planned to review her mental state.

McClain's fiancé, Kevin Carter, 26, told Houston television station KPRC on Tuesday he didn't know she had suffered a miscarriage. He said he thought she had given birth in Galveston weeks earlier and that the baby was being treated in a hospital. Carter said he and McClain had planned a May 5 wedding that would have occurred regardless of the miscarriage.

When contacted by The Associated Press by telephone at his Houston apartment, Carter confirmed he was McClain's fiancé, but hung up when asked about her.

Quanell X, a Houston community activist, later called the AP, saying he had been contacted by Carter's family to serve as a spokesman because the family had received death threats. Quanell X said Carter testified before a grand jury in Montgomery County on Tuesday and that Carter had no indication McClain would do something like this.

McClain faces a capital murder charge, which could carry a death sentence. Prosecutors haven't decided whether to seek the death penalty. Her attorneys have said she intends to plead not guilty.

McClain was a vocational nurse and had been working for a company that provides private-duty nursing services for medically fragile children and adults facing chronic illness or catastrophic injuries.

Authorities say McClain initially told investigators she had found the baby after it had been left on her doorstep, but later confessed.

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  • In this undated family snapshot provided by the Schuchardt Family, Kala Marie Golden, right, and her husband Keith Schuchardt are shown on their wedding day. Golden was killed and her 3-day-old baby abducted outside a pediatric clinic Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in Spring, Texas. Verna Deann McClain has been charged with capital murder and the baby was found and is now with relatives. (AP Photo/Schuchardt Family)

  • In this undated family snapshot Kala Marie Golden, right, is shown with her two sons. Golden was killed and her 3-day-old baby abducted outside a pediatric clinic Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in Spring, Texas. Verna Deann McClain has been charged with capital murder and the baby was found and is now with relatives. (AP Photo/Schuchardt Family)

  • Law enforcement officers wait to enter an apartment near the scene where a mother was killed and her baby kidnapped Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Spring, Texas. A newborn boy was abducted from his screaming mother after she was repeatedly shot outside a suburban Houston pediatric center on Tuesday, according to investigators searching for the suspected shooter who sped off with the infant in a blood-stained Lexus. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • A purse and sandals lie next to the truck of a mother who was killed and her baby kidnapped, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, in Spring, Texas. A newborn boy was abducted from his screaming mother after she was repeatedly shot outside a suburban Houston pediatric center on Tuesday, according to investigators searching for the suspected shooter who sped off with the infant in a blood-stained Lexus. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Verna McClain, left, listens to her attorney Stephen Jackson, right, during a bond hearing in her case Monday, April 23, 2012 in Conroe, Texas. A judge denied bail for McClain is charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Kala Golden and kidnapping of her 3-day-old son, Keegan. Investigators say McClain waited outside a pediatrician's office north of Houston and shot Golden before taking her tiny newborn son. Little Keegan Golden was found unharmed hours later with McClain's sister. He is back with family members. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Verna McClain is escorted from the courtroom after a bond hearing in her case Monday, April 23, 2012 in Conroe, Texas. The judge denied bail for McClain, who is charged with capital murder in the April 17 shooting death of Kala Golden and kidnapping of her 3-day-old son, Keegan. Investigators say McClain waited outside a pediatrician's office north of Houston and shot Golden before taking her tiny newborn son. Little Keegan Golden was found unharmed hours later with McClain's sister. He is back with family members. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Keith Schuchardt speaks outside his father's home Wednesday, April 18, 2012, in Spring, Texas about the murder of his wife and abduction of his 3-day-old baby. Verna Deann McClain has been charged with capital murder and the baby is now with relatives. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

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