Federal judge finds Clay Waller competent to stand trial - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Federal judge finds Clay Waller is competent to stand trial

Federal judge finds Clay Waller competent to stand trial

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

A federal judge finds Clay Waller competent to stand trial.

Waller was brought back to Cape Girardeau to the federal courthouse for the hearing Tuesday afternoon.

After reviewing the psychiatric reports, Judge Abbie Crites-Leoni determined Waller was able to understand the proceedings and was competent to stand trial.

Waller entered a plea of not guilty on a federal charge in May of 2016.

A federal grand jury indicted Waller on an Interstate Domestic Violence charge.

The offense was enacted by Congress in 1994 as part of the Violence Against Women Act.

The charge carries up to a life in prison sentence.

The indictment alleges that in June of 2011, Waller traveled back and forth between Illinois and Missouri with the intent to kill his wife, Jacque Waller.

On June 6, 2013 Clay Waller pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, a lesser charge.

The week before making the plea in the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse, Waller lead investigators to Devil's Island in Alexander County, Illinois.

There, authorities dug up Jacque Waller's remains.

She was reportedly buried six feet under in the sand, in a hole Waller pre-dug.

Local authorities and Jacque's family members have always been hopeful that something more could be done legally to keep Waller behind bars longer, perhaps for life.

Jacque Waller was reported missing on June 1, 2011.

Immediately the Major Case Squad was activated.

Authorities and Jacque's family believed from day one that Jacque was likely not coming home, and that her estranged husband was responsible.

For weeks Clay Waller eluded police, tried to throw authorities and the media off his trail, and taunted search crews.

Two years went by, and search crews refused to give up hope in finding Jacque.

Authorities sighted several key pieces of evidence that had them zeroing in on only one suspect, Clay Waller.

The evidence included surveillance video of Waller hosing out and using 409 to clean his boat, the night after Jacque disappeared.

It's the boat that Waller later admitted to launching into the Mississippi to take Jacque's body, which was in a trash can, to a beach area in Southern Illinois.

Another big piece of evidence was the bloody carpet that was hidden in the Jackson home where Clay confessed to killing Jacque.

The carpet was found in a basement crawl space, taken from the hallway where he admitted to beating, then strangling Jacque.

Jacque and Clay Waller's triplets are being raised by Jacque's sister and brother-in-law.

Waller's attorney has until March 3, 2017 to file pre-trial motions.

Clay Waller will be back in federal court in April of 2017 for an evidence hearing.

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Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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