FREEHOLD, NJ — A New Jersey teen accused of killing her newborn son made her initial court appearance Wednesday, along with the baby's father.
Jada McClain, an 18-year-old Neptune resident charged with murdering her newborn son, sobbed in court. Quaimere Mohammad, the 19-year-old father, is accused of helping her to dump the body.
The infant’s remains still have not been recovered.
Loved ones packed the courtroom and some cried throughout the proceeding.
With her wrists shackled, McClain dabbed her eyes with a tissue and rocked in her seat.
Her family has requested privacy but they issues a statement Wednesday through their attorney, Thomas J. Catley.
“The family prays that authorities find the infant’s remains so they can properly bury their grandson," Catley said. "They also want to express their love and support for their daughter.”
McClain and Mohammed first appeared by video link from the county jail, but they were later brought to the court house to face a second judge in-person.
Monmouth County Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman considered whether to transfer the case to another county after learning that McClain's step-parent's cousin is an employee of the court.
"The court concludes based on available information that there is a sufficient degree of separation between defendant McClain and the court employee, such that this matter should not be transferred out of this vicinage," said Judge Bauman.
McClain is charged with suffocating her newborn son. She named him Legend after she gave birth.
Investigators say the teen hid her pregnancy from her parents and told friends she used drugs and alcohol to try and kill the baby.
She wound up delivering at home in her bathroom on March 29, and allegedly pushed on the infant’s chest to stop him from breathing.
Later that day she picked up Mohammad, who allegedly dropped the baby into a dumpster.
Mohammed’s detention hearing will be held Thursday or Friday.
McClain’s has been postponed until April 17. Her attorney said she plans to plead not guilty to the charges.