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Jackson, Missouri Man Sentenced to 60 Months Prison for Sending Threatening Email

January 4, 2012

Cape Girardeau, MO - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that James "Clay" Waller, Jr., Jackson, MO, was sentenced to 60 months in prison on one felony count of sending an email threatening physical harm to another over the internet in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 875(c).

On July 26, 2011, Waller sent an email threatening to kill Cheryl Brenneke. Cheryl Brenneke is the sister of Jacque Waller. Jacque Waller is the former wife of the defendant and has been missing since June 1, 2011. On the afternoon of June 1, 2011, Jacque Waller attended a meeting with Clay Waller at an attorney’s office in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, regarding their impending divorce. She then stopped at the defendant’s residence to pick up one of their children, and has never been heard from since. The Wallers had three children, triplets, who are now six years of age. These children were temporarily placed in the care of Cheryl Brenneke by the Missouri Children's Division, following Jacque Waller’s disappearance.

The threat was found under a discussion entitled "Police Search for Missing Jackson Woman," post number "4164," which was a website dedicated to the disappearance of Jacque Waller. The content of the posting was as follows:

"You are dead I promise if those kids get hurt, your fault, accident, nobodys fault. Your dad threaten clay, I know he's all talk, I will get you 5, 10, 25 years from now. You have it coming."

Cheryl Brenneke testified that upon seeing the threat, she knew the threat was directed to her and it put her in fear of her life and caused her to take precautions to protect herself and the children.

In imposing the maximum possible sentence, United States District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr. stated that among the factors taken into consideration in imposing the 60 month sentence was that the Government had proven at the sentencing hearing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Waller had in fact murdered Jacque Waller on June 1, 2011; and the need to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Larry H. Ferrell.

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