Neptune teen parents get 5-10 years for killing newborn, dumping body in trash
A Neptune Township teen mom who suffocated her newborn was sentenced to 10 years in prison while her boyfriend was sentenced to five years for helping to discard the baby's remains in a dumpster.
The baby's remains were never recovered after the trash was disposed at the Monmouth County dump in Tinton Falls.
Jada M. McClain, now 20, hid her pregnancy while attending Neptune Township Regional High School in 2019. Authorities learned from one of McClain's friends that on the early morning hours of March 29, McClain gave birth while sitting on the toilet at her home. She told police that she pressed her newborn boy's chest until he stopped breathing.
McClain then called her boyfriend, Quaimere Mohammed, now 21, and the two dumped the child's bagged remains in a waste container near the Washington Village complex on Monroe Avenue in Asbury Park.
McClain pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter while Mohammed pleaded guilty to second-degree disturbing or desecrating human remains.
Early in the case, McClain's lawyer described her as "naïve and immature" and detached from reality, suggesting a possibility for an insanity defense that never happened.
Investigators said McClain, worried that her parents would discover her pregnancy if she tried to get an abortion, had tried to end it herself by drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and taking drugs.
Mohammad's attorney had told the court that two were "madly in love," and called the crime a "family tragedy."
Monmouth County Christopher Gramiccioni on Thursday also referred to it as a "horrible tragedy."
"An infant is dead and two young people are going to prison," he said after the sentencing. "New Jersey’s Safe Haven Protection Act provides a legal, safe, and confidential process for anyone wishing to relinquish custody of a newborn. It is important that people be made aware of this law."
New Jersey's Safe Haven Infant Protection Act allows a parent to give up an uninjured newborn up to 30 days old, no questions asked, at an emergency room or police station.
Sergio Bichao is the digital managing editor of New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-775-9793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.