Judge denies requests on two motions in Waller hearing

Clay Waller
Clay Waller

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - A judge denies two motions Friday in regards to the Jacque Waller disappearance.

Judge William Syler denied a request from the prosecution to preserve James Clay Waller, Sr's testimony.  He is Clay Waller's father.

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

Prosecutors say Waller Sr. is the only person to whom Clay Waller admitted to murdering his wife, Jacque Waller.

Jacque has not been seen since June 1.  Prosecutors call Waller a suspect in her disappearance.

Waller remains in federal custody and will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to internet threat charges.

"This is an extraordinary request, but these are extraordinary circumstances," said Assistant Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor Angel Woodruff.

Waller's attorney Scott Reynolds cited various cases in which the deposition was allowed if there was already a pending criminal case.  Charges have not been filed against Clay Waller in connection with Jacque's disappearance.

"You can't just make a Clay Waller exception," Waller's attorney Scott Reynolds said. "You can't treat Clay Waller any differently than anyone else."

Judge Syler said he could not get past the word pending.

"The family is disappointed that Mr. Waller Sr. won't be deposed," said family spokesperson Laura Helbig. "We're concerned about losing testimony from him, the confession his son made however if that's the law we need to follow the law. There will be decisions made that both sides with neither like. In the end we want Justice for Jacque and we want to bring her home."

Clay Waller was not in the courtroom, but rather, according to his attorney Scott Reynolds, across the street at the Cape Girardeau County Jail.  Waller waived his right to be at the hearing.

Clay Waller's attorney's request for a new judge was also denied Friday afternoon.

Reynolds filed a motion asking for a change of judge for the deposition hearing.

Reynolds wanted the Missouri Supreme Court to appoint a judge who lives and works outside the KFVS viewing area due to the amount of media coverage the case has received.

The judge denied that request.

Morley Swingle and Angel Woodruff offered no comment after the hearing.

Reynolds says he respects the judge's decision.  "He did his job he followed the law, couldn't have been more crystal clear," Reynolds said.

Jacque Waller's sister and brother were at the hearing.

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