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Press Release

Jackson Man Pleads Guilty to Interstate Domestic Violence for 2011 Murder of His Wife

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

James Clay Waller, II, age 45, pled guilty today to one felony count of Interstate Domestic Violence.  He appeared before United States District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig. 


At the plea, Waller admitted he had on numerous occasions threatened his wife, Jacque Sue Waller, that if she divorced him, she would be signing her death warrant.  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 from Illinois to Cape Girardeau to attend the meeting with her attorney.  When Waller traveled in interstate commerce from Illinois to Missouri that day, he admitted that did so with the intent to kill his wife.


Following their meeting with the divorce attorney, Jacque Waller went to the defendant’s residence located in Jackson, Missouri.  Inside the residence, Waller strangled and beat Jacque to death.  Waller then transported her body across the Mississippi River by boat and buried her in the grave he had dug the day before. 


As part of the plea agreement, if accepted by the court, Waller will receive a sentence of 420 months imprisonment in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  Sentencing has been set for January 16, 2018. 


In 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 a manuscript authored by the defendant entitled “If You Take My Kids, I’ll Kill You?’: The Public Confession of Missouri’s Most Notorious Wife Killers”.


This case 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 is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Larry H. Ferrell.

Updated October 5, 2017

Violent Crime