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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cape Girardeau Man Charged with Interstate Domestic Violence for 2011 Murder of his Wife

Cape Girardeau, MO - The United States Attorney's Office announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging James Clay Waller II with Interstate Domestic Violence in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2261(a)(1).  The offense of Interstate Domestic Violence was enacted by Congress in 1994 as part of the Violence Against Women Act.  A violation of the Act includes a possible prison sentence up to life imprisonment.

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 Sue Waller, and did in fact murder her.  The indictment also seeks forfeiture of any proceeds that might be derived from a manuscript intended to be published as a book that details the facts of the murder.

In 2012 Waller was charged under state law with the murder of his wife, despite the fact that her body had never been recovered.  That prosecution was resolved with Waller pleading guilty in exchange for a twenty-year sentence and leading authorities to the unmarked grave in Illinois where he had hidden and buried his wife’s body. During the guilty plea, Waller was specifically advised by the Court that any resolution of the state charges was not necessarily binding on federal authorities.

United States Attorney Richard Callahan commended the Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for its handling of the state prosecution.  He noted that although it is highly unusual for his office to follow a state prosecution with a federal prosecution of basically the same criminal conduct, "the facts and circumstances of this case begged for such a prosecution."

This murder has been investigated by a host of law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cape Girardeau County Major Case Squad, the Jackson City Police Department, the Cape Girardeau City Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Department. 

The federal prosecution of the case will be handled by Assistant United States Attorney Larry H. Ferrell.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated May 23, 2016