New Jersey couple smothers newborn till he turns blue, wraps body in plastic bag and discards it in dumpster
Jada McClain, 18, and Quaimere Mohammed, 19, face up to 10 and five years in jail respectively for their roles in the death of their son Legend
FREEHOLD, NEW JERSEY: Two New Jersey teens pleaded guilty to the March 2019 smothering death of their newborn son, whose remains they then discarded in a public dumpster. Jada McClain, now 18, told the court she began dating the child's father Quaimere Mohammed in 2018 and learned she was pregnant later that year, when she was still 17, according to the Asbury Park Press.
She said she gave birth to the boy, who they named Legend, on March 29 in a downstairs bathroom at her parents' home before taking him up, laying him on her bed, and pressing down on his chest until he stopped breathing. Mohammed said he had spent the evening of March 28 with McClain, and that when he woke up the next morning, he had text messages from her saying she had given birth.
He said she told him the baby wasn't breathing, so he went to her home to pick her up, and they then drove to the beach to console each other as the baby's corpse was in the back seat, wrapped in towels and placed in a plastic bag.
Knowing the baby was dead, he said he drove to Washington Avenue in Asbury Park, where he disposed of the body in a dumpster in the apartment complex. The crime only came to light after investigators received a tip in April 2019 from one of McClain's friends that the teen had given birth to a child the previous month.
The friend had also sent them pictures of the baby, where he was blue. The infant's remains were long gone by then, with detectives learning 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.
However, they obtained a surveillance video that showed Mohammed disposing of the child’s body near the Washington Village apartment complex, and when confronted, both confessed to police. McClain, who was facing an indictment of murder if the case went to a grand jury, pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree aggravated manslaughter and is facing up to 10 years behind bars when she's sentenced in March.
Mohammed, now 19, pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree disturbing or desecrating human remains in connection with the death of the baby and is facing up to five years in prison.
"This case is a horrible tragedy," said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni after their guilty pleas. "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."