Clay Waller sentenced to 35 years on federal charge

More prison time for Clay Waller
Updated: Dec. 19, 2017 at 10:10 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - James Clay Waller was sentenced to 35 years on Tuesday, December 19.

He was sentenced on a federal charge of interstate domestic violence. This will run concurrently with the state murder charge.

Waller pleaded guilty in October.

According to court documents, Waller admitted at the plea hearing that he had threatened his wife Jacque on numerous occasions that "if she divorced him she would be signing her death warrant."

Jacque's parents say that the fact he's serving a 35-year sentence takes a weight off their shoulders.

"We miss her to pieces, miss her to pieces and I'd do anything for her," said Stan Rawson, Jacque's dad. "But all we can hope for is we'll see her again someday."

"Yea you just live it all over again, from the very first day that it happened," said Ruby Rawson, her mother. "You know from then on, it's terrible."

Court documents state that on May 31, 2011, the day before he and Jacque were to meet with her divorce attorney, Waller dug a grave on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River near Devil's Island in which to bury his wife. He then spent the night with his girlfriend in Illinois.

The next day, June 1, 2011, he traveled in interstate commerce from Illinois to Missouri that day, he admitted that he did so with the intent to kill his wife.

Following the meeting with the divorce attorney, Jacque Waller went to Clay Waller's home in Jackson, Missouri. According to court documents, Waller strangled and beat Jacque to death in the home. He then took her body across the Mississippi River by boat and buried her in the grave he had dug the day before.

According to the US Attorney's Office of Eastern Missouri, during the investigation authorities recovered the manuscript of a "tell all book" written by Waller entitled "'If You Take My Kids, I'll Kill You!: The Public Confession of Missouri's Most Notorious Wife Killers."

As part of the plea agreement, Waller agreed to forfeit any proceeds received or to ever be received from any contract relating to a depiction of his crime in a movie, book, newspaper, magazine, radio or television production, including the manuscript he authored.

Jacque's parents say its a sense of relief, and they're glad it's finally over - and Clay Waller now has a 35-year sentence to serve.

They said the six-year process was harder than they could ever imagine and there were highs and lows along the way.

It is a sense of relief knowing that Jacque's children who are being cared for by her sister won't have to deal with him.

But they did say the court process is hard and each court date brings back unpleasant memories.

The family also thanked the local and federal law enforcement involved with the case and with their work.

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