Clay Waller sentenced to five years on Internet threat charge - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Clay Waller sentenced to five years on Internet threat charge

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    Jacque Waller, mother of three, went missing June 1, 2011. Her estranged husband is charged with murder. See full coverage of the Waller case from the first story about Jacque's disappearance to the discovery of her remains almost two years later.

On Tuesday, Clay Waller was sentenced to five years in prison for threatening his missing wife's sister on the website Topix.

Prosecutors convinced the judge to give Waller the maximum federal prison sentence for that charge by telling the judge that threat to Jacque Waller's sister was serious.

Judge Limbaugh in the end told the court that he believes Clay Waller killed his wife and is a dangerous man.

In October, Clay Waller pleaded guilty to threatening to kill his estranged wife's sister, Cheryl Brenneke on Topix.

Tuesday in court, Waller said, "I'm sorry for causing problems. I just miss my kids...that's it."

Cheryl Brenneke was the only witness to take the stand.

Brenneke said, "Clay loved my sister and he killed her...He didn't love me."

She was asked a series of questions from her sister's problems with her marriage, to her disappearance, to the threat made by Clay Waller to her.

She talked about how before Waller went to jail she lived in fear every day wondering if he would hunt her down.

Brenneke said when she first read the threat, it made her immediately sick and she "immediately grabbed the children" and went to a friend's house Clay Waller had no way of knowing about and remained there until her husband came home, according to court documents.

Brenneke says her husband armed himself and "was ready to protect us at all times."  She says they kept the doors locked and the alarm set.

U.S. Assistant Attorney Larry Ferrell argued Waller should get a longer sentence than just the six to 12 months recommended in the pre-sentencing report.

The judge agreed by giving Clay Waller the max of five years behind bars, then three years supervision. He also has to undergo domestic violence counseling.

The government also released new evidence showing how Waller had two orders of protection against him from two other women in the past.

Those orders of protection were once in July 2011 and the other back in 1993.

They worked to show he was a danger to the public and in the end the judge saw it that way.

"They (Jacque Waller's family) can rest assured that justice was served," said U.S. Assistant Attorney Larry Ferrell. "This is such a unique case and quite unlike any I've ever prosecuted."

Waller's attorney Scott Tilsen declined an on camera interview, but said he's disappointed.

"It's not right to sentence a man on a crime he's not been convicted of," said Tilsen. 

No murder charges have been filed by the state against Clay Waller.

Scott Tilsen plans to appeal and has 14 days to do so.

Cheryl Brenneke spoke after the hearing outside the courthouse. She says she is less fearful knowing Waller will remain behind bars.

"He (Waller) deserves every day of what he gets," said Brenneke. We don't have to lock our doors 24/7 or set alarms when we leave. There was definitely some Justice for Jacque today."

Brenneke and her husband have custody of Clay and Jacque Waller's triplets. The children are reportedly doing just fine.

Clay Waller will remain in the Pemiscot County Jail for the time being. Once transferred to prison, he will be required to serve 85% of his sentence. He will also get credit for federal time served.

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