Waller's death not expected to impact son's sentencing hearing - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Waller's death not expected to impact son's sentencing hearing

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Clay Waller Jr. Clay Waller Jr.
Jacque Waller Jacque Waller
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Clay Waller, Sr., who reportedly held key evidence in the disappearance of Jacque Waller, died in a Cape Girardeau nursing home Tuesday morning after a long illness.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Ferrell, the elder Waller said his son Clay Waller, Jr., confessed to his father he killed his estranged wife, then buried her body in a hole.

Late Tuesday morning, Ferrell told Heartland News Mr. Waller's passing will not impact Clay Waller's upcoming sentencing hearing on Internet threat charges because Mr. Waller's testimony was already preserved in the federal case.   Ferrell said he did not plan to call Waller Senior as a witness at the hearing January 3, 2012, but will use his preserved testimony. 

In November, Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle argued the state should be able to preserve Mr. Waller's testimony, even though his son has not been charged.

Judge William Syler denied that request from the prosecution on Nov. 18.

The prosecutors cited they wanted to preserve the deposition because of James Clay Waller Sr.'s health issues. They were afraid he may not survive the duration of the investigation and possible trial.

Jacque has not been seen since June 1. Prosecutors call Waller a suspect in her disappearance.  He has not been charged in connection with her disappearance.  He remains behind bars on unrelated charges.

Jacque Waller's family released this statement Tuesday: "We are terribly sorry to learn of the death of Clay Waller, Sr. Not only was he a grandfather to Jacque's children, he had information he had heard directly from his son regarding our daughter's disappearance. Unfortunately, Mr. Waller was not deposed by law enforcement and now the chance to obtain a legal transcript of his testimony is lost forever. We are saddened at the death of Mr. Waller, but it does not diminish our faith that there will be a successful prosecution of the person or persons responsible for Jacque's disappearance."

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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