Clay Waller arraigned on murder charge

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Clay Waller

Clay Waller, the man accused of killing his estranged wife in Cape Girardeau County last year, was arraigned on a murder charge Monday.

Circuit Court Judge Gary Kamp set a preliminary hearing in the case for 9 a.m. July 25. Clay Waller's case was also assigned to the public defender's office. Clay Waller appeared in court via video conference from the county jail.

Authorities have said Clay Waller was the last to see Jacque Waller alive June 1, 2011. He was charged April 23 with first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence in her disappearance.

According to a probable-cause statement, Jacque Waller had been living in Ste. Genevieve County since March 2011, while Clay Waller had been living in Jackson. The statement said Jacque had also started seeing someone while the couple were separated. Clay Waller also had a girlfriend, who lived in Illinois, according to the statement.

On the day Jacque Waller disappeared, the Wallers had met with an attorney about divorce proceedings. At the meeting, the couple argued about financial problems, according to the document prepared by Jackson police chief James Humphreys.

Jacque Waller's blue Honda Pilot was seen at the house where Clay Waller was staying into the evening on the day she went missing, though there is no account of her whereabouts for several hours that afternoon and evening. Her family last heard from her when she said she was going to meet Clay Waller to get one of their children from him.

Clay Waller has denied any wrongdoing related to Jacque Waller's disappearance.

Clay Waller was serving time in a federal prison in Oakdale, La., until he was returned to Cape Girardeau County for the hearing. He arrived at the Cape Girardeau County Jail on Friday, officials said.

Clay Waller pleaded guilty to charges of making an Internet threat against Jacque Waller's sister, who has custody of the couple's triplets, in the days following the disappearance. He was sentenced to five years in prison in January.

Scott Reynolds, who has represented Waller on other state charges, said Thursday he was unsure Clay Waller could afford his services.

Kamp said Waller has the option of hiring counsel before the preliminary hearing, should he choose to do so.

jgamm@semissourian.com

573-388-3635

Pertinent address:

100 Court St., Jackson, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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