Clay Waller pleads guilty to 2nd degree murder in disappearance and death of wife, Jacque Waller


Reporter - Lauren Adams
Reporter - Kendall Downing
Photojournalist - David Dycus
Photojournalist - Randall Barnes
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, Mo. - Investigators accused him of killing his wife, Jacque Waller.  Thursday, Clay Waller admitted to the crime.

In court, Waller pleaded guilty to an amended charge of 2nd degree murder in connection to the disappearance and death of his wife.

Waller will receive 20 years behind bars.  The sentence will run concurrently with his current sentence and he'll receive credit for time served.  Waller is already serving time for threatening his wife's sister.

In exchange for the plea, Waller last week led investigators to the place where he buried Jacque Waller's body.  Also, he met with investigators Monday to give his account of her murder.

According to investigators, Clay Waller had this crime planned out. Investigators say he acted alone with no accomplices, and killed Jacque in the afternoon on June 1, 2011.  Then, he took her by boat to an area near Devils Island in Alexander County, and buried her six feet below ground.  Investigators were very candid saying Clay dug the hole the day before and even flew over the area in a helicopter.

In Cape Girardeau County Circuit Court, Waller testified, "We got in an argument and I lost my temper."  Waller said he punched his wife with his fist in the head and face, and using his forearm, he placed all his weight on her neck and suffocated her.

Circuit Judge Ben Lewis told Waller,  "A lot of people will be critical of this agreement, but none of those critics could have provided a body."

He went on to say, "This is not what you deserve, but it'll have to do."

Jacque Waller's sister testified, telling Clay she hoped her sister haunted him.

A video recording of the Wallers 7-year-old son was also played.  In the recording, he told his father, "I used to think you were a good guy, but now I know you're not.  I wish you weren't my dad.  I never want to see you for the rest of my life."