Clay Waller's attorney again requests change of judge for deposition hearing

Sunday, November 6, 2011
Clay Waller

Clay Waller's attorney would like a judge with little or no knowledge of the Jacque Waller disappearance investigation to preside over an upcoming hearing connected to the case.

The hearing will determine whether his client's father's testimony will be preserved -- testimony that alleged Clay Waller confessed to murdering his estranged wife and burying her body.

Scott Reynolds filed a motion Tuesday that requests a judge from outside the KFVS12 viewing area preside over the Nov. 18 hearing. "Overwhelming" publicity from the continuing coverage in newspapers and on television, radio and the Internet could cause the appearance of impropriety in Cape Girardeau County Circuit Court Judge William Syler's ruling, Reynolds wrote.

"Such publicity makes it impossible for anyone to ignore or to be unaffected by either the alleged details of the criminal investigation or the extreme emotions it has caused in Cape Girardeau County and the surrounding area," Reynolds wrote in the motion.

The motion was filed a little more than two weeks in advance of the hearing. A judge will determine whether testimony from James Clay Waller Sr. that alleges his son confessed to breaking Jacque Waller's neck during a fight and burying her can be preserved.

Jacque Waller has been missing since June 1, and officials have called Clay Waller a primary suspect in her disappearance.

Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle submitted an application Sept. 22 to preserve the testimony and wrote that the state anticipates filing a murder charge against Clay Waller.

In his motion, Reynolds asks for the matter to be transferred to the Missouri Supreme Court for the appointment of a special judge. Reynolds also asked for a judge who is not on the Missouri Eastern District Court of Appeals.

Clay Waller is in federal custody at the Pemiscot County Jail after pleading guilty to Internet threatening charges Oct. 3. He will be sentenced Dec. 19.

He also faces state theft and harassment charges unrelated to Jacque Waller's disappearance.

Authorities say Clay Waller was the last person to see Jacque Waller. He has repeatedly denied any involvement in the June 1 disappearance of Jacque Waller, his wife and mother of his triplets.

psullivan@semissourian.com

388-3635

Pertinent address:

101 Court St., Jackson, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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