N.J. Mom Who Smothered Baby After Giving Birth Cries in Court as Both Parents Plead Guilty
Police have never recovered the slain baby's remains
A New Jersey teen has pleaded guilty in connection with the March 2019 smothering death of her newborn son, whose remains were discarded in a public dumpster.
A statement from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office confirms Jada McClain, 18, pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter and now faces 10 years in prison when she’s sentenced in late March.
After concealing her pregnancy from her parents and giving birth to a baby boy in March 2019, McClain “pressed her hands on the boy’s chest until he stopped breathing,” according to the statement.
After the baby was dead, McClain called her boyfriend, Quaimere Mohammed, who was the baby’s father, prosecutors said. Both were students at Neptune High School at the time.
“Later that morning, the two disposed of the child’s body in a dumpster on Monroe Avenue in Asbury Park,” reads the statement. “Investigators later recovered surveillance video which captured Mohammed disposing of the child’s body near the Washington Village apartment complex.”
Also on Monday, Mohammed, 19, pleaded guilty to second-degree disturbing or desecrating human remains in connection with the death of the baby. He faces 5 years in prison when he’s sentenced — also in March.
In April 2019, investigators received a tip from one of her friends that McClain had given birth on March 29, 2019.
The baby, who was named Legend, was born in the bathroom at her mother’s home in Neptune, New Jersey.
The friend was sent pictures of the baby, according to prosecutors. In them, Legend was blue in color.
“Investigators learned that the contents of the dumpster, including the newborn’s remains, were transported to the Monmouth County Reclamation Center in Tinton Falls, where they were compacted and buried,” the statement reads. “The infant’s body was never recovered.”
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According to the Asbury Park Press, McClain, then 17, ultimately confessed to police.
The paper reports that she cried in court while admitting to her criminal actions.
Mohammed, seated nearby in the courtroom gallery, reportedly wiped tears from his eyes as McClain spoke.
“This case is a horrible tragedy,” the statement quotes Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni as saying. “An infant is dead and two young people are going to prison. None of this should have happened. Young persons who are not yet ready for parenthood need to understand that there are safe, legal and completely confidential ways to give up custody of a newborn.”