Cape Girardeau County Judge Gary Kamp bound Waller over to circuit court late Monday afternoon, following Wednesday's preliminary hearing on charges of first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence.
"That's big news," Cape Girardeau County assistant prosecutor Angel Woodruff said. "Without being bound over, we're done."
Waller is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. Aug. 6 for his arraignment.
He is charged in connection with Jacque Waller's disappearance June 1, 2011. Authorities allege Clay Waller killed Jacque Waller after an argument over finances and their pending divorce. The couple had three children together, triplets.
Prosecutors allege he killed her after the estranged couple visited a divorce lawyer. Jacque Waller never showed up later that day at the Ste. Genevieve, Mo., home where she had been staying since March, and her abandoned Honda Pilot was found on the side of Interstate 55 the following day. Her body hasn't been found.
In a probable-cause affidavit, investigators said Jacque Waller documented abuse and threats from Clay Waller over several years. Investigators also said Clay Waller was uncooperative in the investigation into her disappearance and gave conflicting reports of what happened.
Clay Waller has maintained his innocence in the disappearance.
He 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. In January, a judge sentenced him to five years in federal prison.
Clay Waller was serving the sentence in Oakdale, La., until authorities returned him to Missouri to face the murder charge in April.
About 20 witnesses testified for the prosecution at last week's preliminary hearing, which was held for a judge to determine whether there was enough evidence to proceed with a trial.
Prosecutors laid out much of their murder case during the 6 1/2-hour hearing, including testimony from experts and Waller's former landlord and employees.
In the investigation, authorities had pieced together 17 pieces of carpet and padding, some containing bloodstains with Jacque Waller's DNA, that Clay Waller allegedly removed from his former home where the crime is alleged to have happened. Experts found Jacque Waller's blood in the hallway of the home. Former employees said during the hearing that Clay Waller occasionally suggested he should kill his estranged wife. A Missouri State Highway Patrol crash reconstruction expert said he found three punctures on a flat tire on Jacque Waller's Honda Pilot. The punctures, he said, couldn't have been made by running over an object, and the vehicle hadn't moved at all after the tire was punctured.
Woodruff contacted Jacque Waller's family minutes after Kamp's decision to tell them how he ruled. Stan Rawson, Jacque Waller's father, said the family was pleased about the news.
"We're pleased that things are moving forward," Rawson said, "and we're going to see justice for Jacque."
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